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Helene Rosenberg, a Jewish Polish Holocaust survivor, who made a new life for herself and her family in America, died May 16, 2020.  She was 96 years old. Born in Warsaw on Dec. 17, 1923, Helene studied nursing in Poland. She came from a large family of brothers and sisters, many of whom died in the Holocaust. When the war broke out, because she had false papers identifying her as Catholic, she escaped the fate of millions of Jews who were exterminated. After the Nazis invaded, they conscripted her to care for prisoners of war in Germany. There, she would raid the pharmacy during bombing raids to steal supplies and medications denied POWs.  After the war ended, many soldiers she cared for sent her letters expressing their gratitude. She met her husband, William Rosenberg, in a sanatorium in Germany where concentration camp survivors were being rehabilitated. Due to her counterfeit gentile papers, many Jews she met at war’s end did not believe she was Jewish, but “Willi” did.  They married and immigrated to New Haven in 1949 with daughter, Pauline and son, Harry. Their third child, Maury, was born in New Haven. Active in many Jewish organizations, Helene held leadership positions at Hadassah and Pioneer Women. She and her husband were active members of Farband and energetic fundraisers for Israel Bonds. Partnering with the city of New Haven, they created the first Holocaust Memorial built on public land in the country. It was dedicated in 1977. To memorialize the experiences of Holocaust survivors,  they worked with Yale University to create the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies.  Established in 1981, and the first of its kind, the archive holds over 4,400 survivor testimonies. Professionally, Helene worked as a saleswoman at Malley’s and Macy’s where she earned a number of awards. She also invested in and managed rental properties with her husband. Although she and her husband spent some of their retirement years in Florida, she returned to New Haven to be closer to her grandchildren. She is survived by her beloved family: daughter Pauline, her son Harry, her daughter-in-law Helen and her grandchildren Evan and Madeline. She was predeceased by her cherished husband, William and son, Maury. Above all, she will be remembered for her strong personality, her generosity of spirit and her amazing matzoh balls, their secret ingredient, “made with love.” Donations in her memory may be made to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum or Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies. May her memory be a blessing.

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