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MCC Daily Tribune

Tell Everyone My Story: Helen Levinson

"Tell Everyone My Story" Helen Levinson

The Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Project (HGHRP) has been inviting Holocaust survivors to share their stories for 30 years. Hearing their stories in the first person will not exist in the distant future. For our 30th Annual Yom HaShoah Commemoration, we will continue to share the stories of the Rochester Holocaust survivors who have spoken at MCC over the past 30 years. Today we would like to introduce you to:

Holocaust Survivor Helen Levinson

Helen Levinson was born in Lublin, Poland, where her father was a brewer. She and her Catholic friend, Christina often spent Christmas and Hanukkah together. It was a relationship that would someday save her life.

When the war broke out in Poland, Helen was caught in a raid and sent to Majdanek where she was forced to work in a concentration camp until a Nazi guard who knew her father helped her escape. The guard disguised her in a Hitler youth uniform and smuggled her out. She hid in an alley and crawled toward home. By 1942 her father, believing the family should separate, gave her money and a fake birth certificate. She became Christina Helena Czerniakowska. After that, she never saw her family again. Alone, she fled to her friend Christina's house where they hid Helen in a shed.

After the war, she found surviving relatives in Rochester, New York and travelled to the United States to at 17 years old. She graduated from Franklin High School and later studied dental hygiene at Monroe Community College. She worked as a dental hygienist for thirty years.


Every year, our nation comes together to remember the victims of the Holocaust, honor the survivors, and pay tribute to the liberators during annual Days of Remembrance. While COVID19 might keep us apart, we have partnered with the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester to bring us together for a virtual commemoration and calling of the names on Monday April 20th at 7:00 p.m.

Click on the Jewish Federation's Facebook page for a live-streamed communal candle lighting. Bring your own candle to light or, if you do not have one, light a virtual candle on behalf of a Holocaust victim by following this link: If you do not have internet access, you can call into the candle lighting service with the information below: +1 929 205 6099 US (New York) Meeting ID: 976 2217 3038 Password: 070198

We also invite you to join HGHRP alumni and current student leaders in paying tribute to Rochester-area Holocaust Survivors by helping to establish an endowed scholarship in their name at the MCC Foundation. The Chai Scholarship: A Tribute to Rochester Holocaust Survivors will be awarded to an MCC student who reflects these survivors' courage and spirit. Your donation can be sent to the MCC Foundation in care of Chai Scholarship.

Attached Files:
Yom Hashoah Flyer FINAL 4.14.2020 (2).pdf

Stevens, Angelique