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Premiere of a film by Veronika Homolová Tóthová called “Hands on the Glass“

Premiere of a film by Veronika Homolová Tóthová called “Hands on the Glass“

26.6.2019 | Aktivity veľvyslancov | Krajania v zahraničí | Kultúrna diplomacia | Kultúrna prezentácia | Prezentácia Slovenska v zahraničí |

On the 25th of June 2019, the Slovak Embassy in London has organised the British premiere of a film by Veronika Homolová Tóthová called “Hands on the Glass”. This full-length partly-played documentary, captures the creation of a farewell memorial, symbolically made in Slovakia and Czech Republic. The idea was initiated by the so-called Winton Children, who are currently more than 80 years old. They realised a while ago that they would like to create a memorial for their parents, who had to make the courageous decision to send their children into the unknown in order to protect them from the atrocities of Nazism. The memorial is an exact replica of the coach door from the train, which carried the children from Czechoslovakia into England. The glass door has handprints of people saying farewell to each other – one side has the handprints of the children, the other of the parents.

               

The film has been screened twice in the movie theatre of the Czech Embassy in London and it has brought the audience information regarding how right before the beginning of World War II, 669 children were rescued when they left to England via train. They ran away from the danger of Nazism, as the majority of their parents were Jewish. Ambassador of Slovakia Ľubomír Rehák has used his address to the attendees to emphasise the depth of the humanitarian scope of this rescue mission. This project has been brought to the attention of the world only at the end of the 1980s. That is when the name of Sir Nicholas Winton became known – the last living member of the group of volunteers, who organised the rescue mission. The project also makes us remember that Nicholas Winton himself used to remind that he did not organise the rescue mission on his own. The film mentions other members of the group, including leading figures such as Marie Schmolková and Doreen Warrinerová.

               

The director of the film, Veronika Homolová Tóthová, has described the circumstances of the parents and the great self-restraint they have shown on those fateful days. The parents have told their children that they will see each other soon, yet most of the children never saw their parents again as they died in concentration camps.

 

The closest relatives of Sir Nicholas Winton have also attended the screening, particularly praising the filming of this documentary. 150 guests were present, including professor Gerta Vrbová, the former wife of deceased Rudolf Vrba (there is a full-length movie being made about his life in Slovakia), who has managed to escape a concentration camp and thanks to his testimony the world got to find out the truth about the horrors of Auschwitz.

 

The Ambassadors of Slovakia and the Czech Republic have used this opportunity to congratulate Lady Milena Grenfell-Baines, one of the rescued Winton Children, with her 90th birthday. The creators of the documentary “Hands on the Glass” have paid further attention to her family. The widely recognised German writer, Thomas Mann, was rescued and could, therefore leave with his family, escaping to America thanks to the bravery and determination of Lady Milena’s father, Rudolf Fleischmann.