Mary Elmes Documentary on Newstalk

Mary Elmes was an Irish aid worker credited with saving the lives of dozens of Jewish children during the Holocaust, by hiding them in the boot of her car.

A fascinating character for many reasons, her work during the Spanish Civil War and then in Rivesaltes Refugee Camp in the South of France are noteworthy even in themselves. But it’s for risking her life, rescuing Jewish refugees who were being sent to concentration camps that she’ll be most remembered.

Her story raises all kinds of questions about moral courage and humanitarianism – and contrasts sharply with the official policy of the Irish government during the Holocaust.

Producer Bairbre Flood talks to Ronald Friend and Charlotte Berger-Greneche (two of the people whose lives she saved), her biographers Clodagh Finn and Paddy Butler, her family, long-time Quaker researchers Bernard and Janet Wilson, Mervyn O’Driscoll (Head of History, UCC), and Heino Schönfeld of the Holocaust Education Trust Ireland.

Listen to the documentary here.