01 January 2009

01 January 2009 - Shalom, Helen Suzman

Helen Suzman, leader of the liberal struggle against apartheid, died this morning in her home in Johannesburg.

She was 91 and ready to make her peace.

I visited her about 7 weeks ago and she looked healthy and vivacious. We enjoyed an afternoon of tea and scotch and conversation as she scolded her beloved dogs.

My father raised me on stories of Helen'a heroism, telling me how she stood up to the Nationalist regime, virtually alone, for so many years.

She was proud of her Jewish heritage and denounced attempts to equate Israel and apartheid.

The world will miss her dearly. I am sad she is no longer with us but grateful that I was able to share her friendship.

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