For me, one of the more surprising results of the Bank of Canada’s survey on 12 “bank-notable” women was how few people (29%) recognized Lotta Hitschmanova’s name.
When the Bank of Canada announced its short list of 5 women candidates to appear on a Canadian banknote, I was a bit surprised to read that Lotta Hitschmanova (1909-1990) wasn’t on the list. I wondered, perhaps I had been mistaken, and Lotta’s story no longer resonated with Canadians to the degree I thought it did.
Recently the Bank of Canada has published the full details of the cross-country survey of 2,000 Canadians who voiced their opinions about the women (including Lotta) who had made it onto the long list of 12 “bank-notable” Canadian women.
In my upcoming series of Lotta56sparks.ca blog posts, I will highlight some of the results of this cross-Canada survey. Here is today’s key finding: Continue reading
“To be a refugee, to be without a home, to be without country, to be without friends … you have no more roots, you have no one to turn to.”
Lotta Hitschmanova (1909-1990) became one of Canada’s most beloved humanitarians and a role model and champion for women’s rights.
Before this, however, Lotta experienced the extreme pain of being uprooted, from her beloved Czech homeland, wandering across Western Europe as a refugee from 1938 to 1942. Continue reading
Lotta Hitschmanova is revered by many as a kind of “saint”, but she was as human as the rest of us, had a great sense of humour, and apparently in her early days, loved to party!
Here is a Lotta story shared by Heather Haas Barclay of London, Ontario, as she recalls the remarkable personal connection her parents had with Lotta. Continue reading
Lotta was born in Prague on November 28, 1909. She was raised as “Lotta Hitschmann” by two loving Jewish parents, Max Hitschmann and Else Theiner.
With the rise of the Nazis and the Munich Pact of September 1938, Lotta, an outspoken critic of the Nazis, began her perilous four year journey as a refugee. She first found a point of refugee in Brussels, where her life as “Lotta Hitschmanova” began in 1939.
Here is what Clyde Sanger has written in his biography of Lotta (page 20): Continue reading
How did a World War II refugee, born into a Jewish family in Prague, Czechoslovakia, become a revered figure for Unitarians, a small liberal religious faith in Canada?
The following is a brief response to this question, taken from Clyde Sanger’s 1986 biography, “Lotta and the USC Story.” Continue reading
Stephen Hammond has posted a tribute to Lotta on her birthday today, Nov 28.
He has created a unique website. Here is how he describes it:
Join me every day for Human Rights a Day. It’s a journey through 365 Days of Human Rights Celebrations and Tragedies That Inspired Canada and the World. Continue reading