Helen Levinson

Helen LevinsonThe youngest of 3 children, Helen Levinson is originally from Olesteyn, Poland. Her father was the brew master in a Jewish owned brewery in Lublin. When Jews were forced into the Lublin Ghetto, Helen’s family was moved to the brewery so her father could make beer for the Nazis. Once in the Lublin Ghetto, while getting a violin lesson, Helen was rounded up with other women and sent to Majdanek concentration camp. After a couple weeks there, one of the guards who had been the brewery mail carrier, recognized her and helped her to escape. He gave her a Hitler Youth Uniform and she joined a group of children who were visiting the camp. She reunited with her family and they went into hiding in the brewery but were discovered. They split up with the hopes that someone would remain alive after the war. She hid for brief periods with family friends, after which the mother of Helen’s closest childhood friend bought her a train ticket.  Helen had false papers saying she was Catholic and she worked for Nazis for the remainder of the war – keeping her Jewish identity secret. The only survivor of her immediate family, Helen spent years looking for relatives in the United States and finally found an aunt by placing a newspaper ad. She moved to the United States in 1947.