In a recent Ottawa Chamberfest lecture at the National Gallery of Canada, noted CBC radio host traced the lines of a remarkable story: how five Jewish World War II refugees each ended up playing key roles in the development of music in Canada. Robert Harris
In many ways, their story echoes the story of Dr Lotta Hitschmanova, also a
on the social and humanitarian landscape of her adopted country. Jewish refugee who left a lasting impact
The five musical icons were Helmut Kallmann, Helmut Blume, Franz Kraemer, John Newmark and Walter Homburger.
Eric Koch, Franz Kraemer, Glenn Gould, Isle of Man, Jewish roots, John Buss, John Newmark, McGill University, Music and the arts, Plains of Abraham, Refugees & Immigrants, Robert Harris, TV & radio, United Kingdom, Walter Homburger, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, WW II |
“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.
Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Europe, France, Human rights, Humanitarians, Marseilles, Refugees & Immigrants, USC Canada, Women leaders, WW II |
Czech costumes,1943, Ottawa. Lotta top row 2nd left. Photo courtesy of Heather Haas Barclay.
Did you know that Lotta Hitschmanova performed in the same Ottawa theatre as Vladimir Horowitz, Glenn Gould, Nat King Cole and Jimi Hendrix?
that included this remarkable 1943 photo of Lotta and other women dressed in traditional Czech costumes. we posted an article
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):
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.”
Bermuda, Boston, British Columbia, Casablanca, Clyde Sanger, Czechoslovakia, France, Hamilton, Jewish roots, Lisbon, Manitoba, Marseilles, Montreal, Morocco, New York, Ontario, Ottawa, Portugal, Prague, Quebec, Refugees & Immigrants, Toronto, Unitarian connections, Unitarian Service Committee, United States, Vancouver, Winnipeg, WW II |
Stephen Hammond has posted
on her birthday today, Nov 28. a tribute to Lotta
He has created a unique website. Here is how he describes it:
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