Helen Zell


Helen Zell, a Holocaust survivor, died on May 14. She was born in Zavidova, Czechoslovakia, near Muncaz. Her father, Israel Berger, and mother, Sheindel Smulewicz, and siblings, Goldie, Feige, Moishe Mayer, Bella and Rudya, were victims of the Holocaust. Only Helen, Bella and Rudya survived.

In April 1944 she was taken to the Ghetto Mukacevo. In 1944 she was imprisoned in Auschwitz, Ravensbruck and Leipzig concentration camps. Helen was part of the Death March in 1945 and was liberated by the Russians on
Aug. 5, 1945.

She met her husband, Wolf Zelovic (William Zell), another Holocaust survivor, after she was freed. They were happily married for 55 years and he passed away in 2001.

They flew from Prague to Brussels and onto LaGuardia Airport in New York. They arrived in the U.S. in November 1948 with their 6-month-old son Sam, who was born in Czechoslovakia. Their son Jeffrey was born in McKeesport, Pa.


Helen leaves behind her loving sons, Sam (Arlene) in Austin, Texas, and Jeff (Lauri) in Washington, D.C. She has six loving grandchildren, Adam Zell (Rachel), Alana Seigel (Adam) and Lexie Zell (Alex) in Austin; Jason Zell (Kayleigh) in Washington; Carly Zell in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Ryan Zell in Austin. She has nine amazing great-grandchildren, Evan, Benny, Goldie, Fiona, Hazel, Jude, William, Tali, Maya and many adoring friends and family. Donations may be made to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum (ushmm.org).

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