Marie Schmolková


Marie Schmolková, a humanitarian worker of Jewish origin, who shortly before the outbreak of World War II saved thousands of German and Czech Jews from Nazi persecution and the Holocaust. She initiated the rescue of more than six hundred Jewish children who were transported from Central Europe to Great Britain and later became known as Winton’s Children. In March 1939, during the occupation of Czechoslovakia, she was among the first to be arrested. The Gestapo interrogated her daily until May, when she was released after pressure from influential friends. She travelled to Paris and settled in London after the outbreak of war. There she continued her work. She sacrificed everything, including her health, to work. She died of a heart attack in March 1940, aged 46. Unlike Sir Nicholas Winton, belatedly but duly recognized for saving hundreds of Central European children, she is almost forgotten today.