Halina Deschko Turner '49

Halina Deschko Turner '49

Halina Deschko Turner '49 
(social worker and Holocaust survivor)

photo courtesy of Ashley Myers-Turner

Halina Deschko was one of the top three students in her high school graduating class of 1940.  Her dream of becoming a "children's doctor" led her to enter the Medical Institute in Stalino (Donetsk), Ukraine.  It was as a student of medicine that Helena witnessed the destruction of her hometown.  Within two years of the German occupation she lost both of her parents.  In 1942, when the Medical Institute was forcibly shut down, Halina was captured and sent to a concentration camp in Germany.

After American forces liberated the camp in 1945, Halina began working for the U.S. Army.  She then made the decision to leave Europe and settle in the U.S.  Very soon after her arrival, she entered Mount Holyoke College, determined  to fulfill her dream of doing "some kind of international social service" or "working in the field of public health."

Following her graduation, she enrolled at the Simmons School of Social Work.  Ultimately, she embarked upon a career as a medical social worker at the Texas Medical Center in Houston.