Helen Lewis MBE

Dance Saved My Life
Dan Lewis shares the story of his grandmother, Helen Lewis MBE.
Helen was born in 1916 in Trutnov, which is in the present day Czech Republic. She was born into a Jewish family that was well integrated and heavily involved in Trutnov life.
By the time the Nazis fully occupied Czechoslovakia in 1939, Helen was a professional dancer and choreographer, married and living in Prague with her first husband. Following the erosion of their rights and freedoms, simply because they were Jewish, Helen, her first husband and her mother, as well as other family members, were deported to Terezin in 1942. Helen survived Terezin, Auschwitz, Stutthof and a death march, before returning to Prague at the end of the war and emigrating to Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1947. She later resumed her career as a professional dancer and choreographer.
This presentation is suitable for year 10 students and above and adults. It includes readings from Helen’s memoir, A Time To Speak.
Dance Saved My Life