Women War & Peace Book Now Available

Published On 18 November, 2016 | Latest News

Women War and Peace Digital Book with Women’s Stories of WWII

Now Available Online!

Smashing Times Theatre Company are delighted to announce that the Women War and Peace digital book was launched at the Mansion House, Dublin on 8 November 2016 and is now available on-line. The digital book contains 23 stories of women’s experiences during World War II, collected from Ireland, Spain, Germany and Poland, with a foreword by Marian Harkin, MEP. The stories centre on women who promoted liberty and actively campaigned against Fascism and Nazism and advocated for peace in World War II. The digital book was launched by Mary Lawlor, Front Line Defenders and Cllr Rebecca Moynihan, Deputy Lord Mayor of Dublin. The book is both a remembrance of women’s stories and experiences during World War II, and a promotion of human rights, gender equality and peace today.

 Click here to access, available free of charge.

Women’s stories include Ettie Steinberg (1914-42) the only female Jewish Irish citizen known to have been murdered in Auschwitz; Margaret Skinnider (1893-1971) a revolutionary feminist and maths teacher who came to Dublin from Scotland at the age of 23 to fight in the 1916 Easter Rising and who remained in Ireland and campaigned for women’s rights in the trade union movement from the 1930s onwards; Mary Elmes (1908-2002), a 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; Marta Hillers from Germany who wrote her autobiography Eine Frau in Berlin (A Woman in Berlin) under the name ‘Anonyma’ (Anonymous), detailing her experiences of the last days of WWII as she and over one million other women were raped and abused by Allied soldiers of the Red Army; Neus Català Pallejà from Spain, a member of the United Socialist Party of Catalonia during the Spanish Civil War, an active collaborator with the French Resistance during WWII and the only living Spanish survivor Ravensbrück  concentration camp for women; Maria Eugenia Jasińska from Łódź in Poland who worked for the resistance and gave up her own life rather than ‘name names’; and Dolores Ibarurri or La Pasionaria (1895-1989), from Spain, a revolutionary leader, political activist, Communist and crusader against Fascism during the Spanish Civil War who created the famous cry ‘They Shall Not Pass’.

The 23 women’s stories contained in the book are Mary Elmes, Ettie Steinberg, Margaret Skinnider, Josephine Alexandra Mitchell, Dorothy Macardle, Louise Graham née Boyle, Mary Fleming and Aileen Turner from Ireland; Federica Montseny Mañe, Pilar Tendillo Haro, Rosa Estruch Espinos, Neus Català Pallejà and Dolores Ibárruri, La Pasionaria from Spain; Anna Seghers, Esther Bauer, Sophie Scholl, Marta Hillers and Gertrud Pötzinger from Germany; and Alina Szapocznikow, Maria Eugenia Jasińska, Homeless women in Łódź during WWII, Regina (Inka) Milichtajch and Johanna Majewska from Poland.

The book features articles and research on the causes and impact of the Second World War and the development of human rights, gender equality and peace and contains a Women, War and Peace Remembrance Through Theatre Workshop model using theatre to actively involve citizens in fun activities to promote remembrance, diversity and learning in relation to women’s stories from WWII and the role of the EU to promote peace and gender equality today.

The book is produced as part of Women, War and Peace, an innovative year-long transnational project with four European partners from Ireland, Spain, Germany and Poland. The project uses creative processes of theatre and film to promote a remembrance of European history with a focus on women’s stories and experiences from World War II and ways to promote peace, gender equality and diversity today. The project is co-funded by the Europe for Citizens programme of the European Union and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Reconciliation Fund and the four European partners are:

  • Smashing Times Theatre Company, Ireland, www.smashingtimes.ie
  • Institute de Formacion Y Estudios Sociales (IFES), Valencia, Spain, www.ifes.es
  • Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universitaet, Hannover, Germany, www.uni-hannover.de
  • University of Humanities and Economics in Lodz, Poland, www.ahe.lodz.pl

Photo: Women War and Peace Book Launch: L to R: Mary Lawlor, Front Line Defenders; Fernando Benavente, IFES, Valencia, Spain; Mary Moynihan, Freda Manweiler, Róisín McAtamney, Smashing Times Theatre Company; Cllr Rebecca Moynihan, Deputy Lord Mayor of Dublin; Margaret Toomey, Paul Kennedy, Smashing Times; Mark Elmes, Cousin of Mary Elmes, whose story is documented in the book.

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