By: Chris Trilling
Life and Accomplishments
Parliamentarian, Human Rights Activist, sole representative of opposition party (the Progressive Party) in parliament during apartheid. Helen Suzman was born in the South African mining town of Germiston on 7 November 1917 to Samuel and Frieda Gavronsky, both immigrants from Eastern Europe who had come to South Africa to escape the restrictions imposed on Jews by Russia. She was brought up in a family which was financially stable, and was educated at a convent and thereafter at the University of the Witwatersrand (WITS). Helen was to become one of South Africa's most famous white parliamentarians and human rights activists.