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14 Mar 2019 18:00

Panel Discussion: Marie Schmolka, the Forgotten Heroine Who Saved Thousands from the Holocaust

Most have heard the name of Sir Nicholas Winton, a young British stockbroker who volunteered with the British Committee for Refugees from Czechoslovakia in 1938. But humanitarian rescue of thousands of refugees, from Austria, Germany, and Czechoslovakia, was a collective effort. And more often then not, it was led by women.

Marie Schmolka, a Prague Zionist who was one of the main figures of European refugee assistance on the eve of the Second World War, was one of these leaders. She co-managed the local Refugee Committee, was the representative of HICEM in Prague and represented Czechoslovakia at the Évian Conference in July 1938.

This event, commemorating the 80th anniversary of her arrest in the first days of the occupation of Czechoslovakia, serves to raise awareness of Schmolka’s extraordinary role and biography. The Marie Schmolka Society seeks to draw attention and encourage scholarship for topics related to the role of women social workers during the Holocaust.

Free entry

About the speakers:

Anna Hájková is associate professor of modern European continental history at the University of Warwick. Her book, The Last Ghetto: An Everyday History of Theresienstadt, is forthcoming with Oxford University Press. Together with Martin Šmok, she founded the Marie Schmolka Society: marieschmolka.org.

Martin Šmok is the Senior International Program Consultant of the USC Shoah Foundation. Besides authoring two major documentary film trilogies he curated several groundbreaking exhibitions examining Czechoslovak relationships with its Jews. He is currently finishing a biography of Charles Jordan, a towering figure of the Joint Distribution Committee.

Rose Holmes is a postdoctoral researcher at Birkbeck, University of London. She is currently working on a digital history project on the history of trafficking. She completed her PhD at the University of Sussex on humanitarian work with refugees from fascism. Her research interests are on international humanitarianism and welfare, and she has a particular interest in digital and public history. 

Alex Maws is Head of Educational Grants and Projects for the Association of Jewish Refugees (AJR), Britain’s largest dedicated funder of Holocaust educational programmes. In addition, he serves as Educational Advisor to the Holocaust Educational Trust and as a member of the UK delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).





Wiener Library, 29 Russell Square, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 5DP


14 Mar 2019 18:00


Czech Center is a coorganizer of the event

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