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1931 - 2018 Notice Condolences
Of Strafford, PA, died at age 87 in Hope Maine on Wednesday August 29, 2018. She is survived by her beloved husband of 64 years, Stanley Segall, sons Hal Segall and Wynn Segall, daughters-in-law Lauren Gross and Anna Jenefsky, grand-children Deanna, Hayley, Dora and Adin Segall, and her cousin Glenda Kaufman who was a sister to her.
Helen arrived in this country from a displaced persons camp in Germany on Thanksgiving Day 1949, already fluent in Polish and Russian, conversant in German, Ukrainian and English, and having survived the trauma of the Holocaust. She subsequently earned a B.S in Library Science from Simmons College and a PhD. in Russian Language and Literature from Bryn Mawr College. She taught initially at Bryn Mawr College and Montclair State University and finally for 24 years at Dickinson College where she was Professor of Russian and Chair of the Russian Department until her retirement in 2000.
Dr. Segall was a published scholar of the Russian Avant Garde. Active in numerous professional organizations, she served as President of both the Northeast Modern Languages Association and the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies. She founded major academic exchanges with the former Soviet Union and Russia, establishing a longstanding exchange program that sent students to Moscow and Russian faculty to Dickinson.
In addition, Dr. Segall authored works on the Holocaust, including articles on the liquidations of the Dubno and Mizocz, Ukraine ghettos of World War II, published in the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos. She spoke on the Holocaust and her experiences during WW II at academic conferences, synagogues, churches and schools, including after her retirement from Dickinson. She was active in the World Federation of Jewish Child Survivors of the Holocaust and Decendants.
Born in 1931 to a warm and large family in Dubno, Poland (now Ukraine), she lived through the Soviet invasion and occupation of Eastern Poland, including Dubno, in 1939 at age 8, and then, at age 10, the 1941 Nazi onslaught and subsequent loss of nearly all her family. Together with her mother, Charlotte Schwartz (Shwom), aunt, Natalie Markowski (Getrajer), and infant cousin Glenda, Helen survived on false papers as a Polish Catholic, including as a slave laborer for a German company in Ukraine and Germany.
Helen was enormously energetic and had great zest for life. She was an avid collector of non-conformist Russian art, a lover of opera and classical music, a regular at the Metropolitan Opera and the Philadelphia Orchestra for many years, and a gifted gardener. Friend, colleague and mentor, and deeply loved and admired wife, mother and grandmother, she was inspiring to many and will be sorely missed.
Interment and graveside service were held on Tuesday Sept. 5, 2018 at Montefiore Cemetery in Jenkintown, PA. In lieu of flowers, contributions in her honor may be made to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, D.C.



Published on Philly.com on Sept. 16, 2018
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