A Time to Risk All: New Book on Mary Elmes
When, in 2016, Clodagh Finn saw a performance of The Woman is Present: Women’s Stories of WWII by Mary Moynihan, Fiona Bawn Thompson, Deirdre Kinahan and Paul Kennedy, presented by Smashing Times Theatre and Film Company, she was so moved by the evocative portrayal of Mary Elmes that she set about piecing together the real-life story of how this courageous Corkwoman saved hundreds of lives in Franco’s Spain and Nazi-occupied France. She trawled archives in Paris, London and the US and managed to track down several of the refugees that Mary saved as children. She tells the story in a new biography, A Time to Risk All, the incredible untold story of Mary Elmes, the Irish woman who saved children from Nazi Concentration Camps, now published by Gill Books, €16.95 – see further information below.
Smashing Times are presenting The Woman is Present: Women’s Stories of WWII on nationwide tour. The play is a creative reimagining of moments from the lives of women during WWII, recalling stories of bravery, sacrifice and love amidst the horror of war, as women stood up against fascism and totalitarianism and refused to accept oppression. Each performance is followed by a post-show discussion with the artists and invited guest speakers to explore powerful women’s stories in history and themes of gender equality and peace in Ireland, Northern Ireland and internationally. Women’s stories in the performance include Mary Elmes (1908-2002), the Cork woman who was the first Irish person honoured as ‘Righteous Among Nations’ for her work saving Jewish children from the Nazi gas chambers during World War II; and Ettie Steinberg (1914-42), the only female Jewish Irish citizen known to have been murdered in Auschwitz.
For further information on the show, please contact
Smashing Times Theatre and Film Company
Tel: + 353 (0) 1 865 6613 Tel: + 353 (0) 87 221 4245
A Time to Risk All
by Clodagh Finn
The incredible story of the ‘Irish Schindler’ who saved Hundreds from Nazi Concentration Camps
Mary Elmes might not be a name that many people know, but in a new book A Time to Risk All the extent of the momentous work that she did is brought to light. Elmes was born in Cork at the beginning of the 20th Century and travelled to Europe in the 1930s to help war-torn refugees.
In 1942, when it became evident that Jews were being deported to their death, she risked her life smuggling children to safety in the boot of her car and succeeded in getting a number of adults off convoys bound for Nazi death camps. She was arrested and imprisoned by the Gestapo on suspicion of espionage and hostility against Germany. But when the war was over, she married and settled down, never speaking about what she had done. Her story was forgotten.
Over the past year Clodagh Finn has travelled throughout Europe and Ireland to piece together the story of this brave, unknown Irish woman, meeting with many of those Mary Elmes saved as children. Here, in a book packed with courage, heroism, adventure and tragedy, her story finally comes to light and she is remembered as she deserves.
A Time to Risk All will be published by Gill Books on 13th October 2017, priced €16.99.
The book will be launched on 18th October in Dublin with members of the Elmes family as well as people who were saved by Mary Elmes as children flying to Ireland for the event.
For publicity enquiries please contact Ellen Monnelly, Publicity Executive, email@example.com, 01 500 9506, 086 838 9611.
Clodagh Finn is a journalist who has worked for the Irish Examiner, the Sunday Independent and the Irish Independent and as a freelance writer and editor in Paris. She has a particular interest in history and archaeology. She lives in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin, with her husband and dog. This is her first book.