In Memoriam: Helene Rosenberg (1923-2020)

By Christy Bailey-Tomecek - May 22, 2020

We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Helene Rosenberg, a pillar of the local Jewish community in New Haven and one of the early witnesses who gave testimony to the Holocaust Survivors Film Project (HSFP) in 1980.

Along with her husband, William (Willi) Rosenberg, who served as the President of the HSFP, Helene advocated fiercely for the commemoration and documentation of the Holocaust by the HSFP, and its successor organization the Fortunoff Video Archive. Our organization is forever indebted to their vision.

Born in Warsaw in 1923, Helene survived the Holocaust by using false identification papers masking her Jewish identity. She was conscripted to work as a nurse for prisoners of war and bravely stole supplies to help care for her patients. She lost many family members during the war, including multiple brothers and sisters. Helene met Willi at a sanatorium for Holocaust survivors in Germany. The couple married and immigrated to New Haven, where they raised three children. Along with other members of the New Haven survivor community, she helped create the first Holocaust Memorial built on public land in the country. It was dedicated in 1977, and still stands to this day on the corner of West Park and Whalley Avenue.

Helene is survived by her children, Pauline and Harry, her daughter-in-law Helen and her grandchildren, Evan and Madeline.

Our heartfelt condolences to the family; she will be greatly missed. May her memory be a blessing.

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