Inspired by bravery – Ireland’s Holocaust Heroine
People who risk it all to help others are inspiration for all of us. Some of these brave souls are well known – Schindler, Tubman, Esther – while others slip quietly into history. Irishwoman Mary Elmes is one of the later.
Mary Elmes’ humanitarian work spanned wars and countries and eventually landed her in a Gestapo-run prison. But not before she and her friends rescued more than 400 children from Nazi death camps.
I learned about Elmes from David Lawlor on his blog History With a Twist. Following is the start of David’s post and the link to the rest of Elmes’ story.
The great events of our past – the wars and the genocides – are just a series of small steps strung together… steps that when looked back upon appear to be a seamless, momentous journey.
And because of that, we tend to overlook many of those very people who created the events that make history so extraordinary.
The name Mary Elmes is not one that conjures up any special memory to most people, and that’s probably just the way the Corkwoman would have wanted it.
Look at her photo and words like ‘refined’, delicate’ and ladylike’ spring to mind. Mary Elmes was all those things and more besides. She was also fearless, iron-willed and relentless in her cause – to bring help and succour to frightened, dispossessed people in fear for their lives. Were it not for Mary, hundreds of children would have died at the hands of the Nazis and thousands of refugees could have starved to death.
To read more, click here
Who is your inspiration?
Do you know other average people who’ve put themselves at risk to help others? Please share. These people often don’t get the recognition they richly deserve.
On a related note …
Two years ago this month, I visited Ireland and had the opportunity to meet and enjoy lunch with David. We’d known each other for a long time through social media, and it was a treat to meet in real time. We could have talked writing and life for far longer.
I encourage you to sign up for David’s blog, which celebrates what he calls ‘the bit players of history.’ You’ll be fascinated by the people whose stories he shares. While you’re there, check out his books. David writes terrific WWI-era historical fiction.