Northern Ireland

Helen Lewis: Belfast plaque for Holocaust survivor

Helen Lewis Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Mrs Lewis, who died aged 93 in 2009, wrote a book, A Time To Speak, about her experiences in the Auschwitz concentration camp

Dance teacher and Holocaust survivor Helen Lewis has been honoured by a blue plaque at a Belfast arts centre.

Mrs Lewis, who died in 2009, aged 93, wrote a book, A Time To Speak, about her experiences in the Auschwitz concentration camp.

After World War Two, she moved to Belfast and became a pioneer of modern dance in Northern Ireland.

The Ulster History Circle blue plaque was unveiled on Friday at the Crescent Arts Centre in south Belfast.

Image copyright Press Eye
Image caption The plaque was unveiled on Holocaust Memorial Day on Friday

The Czech-born mother-of-two was a founder member of the Belfast Modern Dance Group and was awarded an MBE for her services to contemporary dance in 2001.

Speaking to the BBC at the time, she said: "It was a very rare and welcome acknowledgement of the importance of the art of dance in our present lives.

"But not just the importance of dance as an art form but also as a social factor. Through dance people can come together who would never had met in other circumstances."

The plaque was unveiled on Holocaust Memorial Day on Friday, which remembers the millions of people murdered in the Holocaust under Nazi persecution during World War Two, as well as those killed in other genocides.

The theme this year is how life can go for those left behind after a genocide.

Image copyright Press Eye
Image caption Crowds gathered at the Crescent Arts Centre to see the plaque being unveiled

The Ulster History Circle is a voluntary not-for-profit organisation that places commemorative plaques in public places all over Northern Ireland in commemoration of men and women who have contributed to its culture, industry and history.