Helen Suzman: Fighter for Human Rights

Helen Suzman

Helen Suzman was a member of the South African Parliament for 36 years, from 1953-1989. She was the sole opposition voice condemning apartheid during the 13-year period (1961-1974) when she was the governing body’s only member of the Progressive Party. The exhibition explores nearly four decades of Suzman’s life and vision through photographs, personal letters, quotations from speeches and news articles. Suzman was nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Price in recognition of her contribution to the pursuit of justice in South Africa. She received the United Nations Award of the International League for Human Rights in 1978. In 1989, Queen Elizabeth made her an Honorary Dame Commander (Civil Division) of the Order of the British Empire. Suzman died on January 1, 2009, at the age of 91. Flags across South Africa were flown at half-mast in her honor. The exhibit will open to the public on February 9 in conjunction with a panel discussion on International Human Rights and will continue through March 25.