Hans Henze was born in Güterisloh,Guterisloh, Westphalia, July 1, 1926. Hans was the oldest of six children of a teacher, and showed early interest in art and music. That and his political views led to conflict with his conservative father.
Henze's father, Franz, had served in the First World War and was wounded at Verdun. He worked as a teacher in a school at Bielefeld, formed on progressive lines, but it was closed in 1933 by government order because its progressive style was out of step with official views.
Franz Henze then moved to Dünne, a small village near Bünde. There his views started to change towards the Nazi ideology: books by Jewish and Christian authors were replaced in the Henze household by literature reflecting Nazi views. He expected his whole family was expected to fall into line with Franz's new thinking. The older boys, including Hans, were enrolled in the Hitler Youth.