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"If I ever did one good thing": Ludwig Guttmann, Stoke Mandeville and the Birth of the Paralympics

This talk will discuss the life of Ludwig Guttmann, the German-Jewish surgeon who escaped Nazi Germany in 1939 and went on to pioneer the Paralympic Movement.

In the 1940s the gifted German-Jewish surgeon Ludwig Guttmann pioneered wheelchair sports at Stoke Mandeville Hospital after escaping persecution in Nazi Germany in 1939.

This talk by Dr Martin Polley, Senior Lecturer in Sport at the University of Southampton, will explore the importance of Guttmann's personal contribution to the Paralympic Movement.

Polley is a sports historian who has published widely on the social, cultural and political history of sport. His books include 'Moving the Goalposts: a history of sport and society since 1945' (1998), 'Sports History: a practical guide' (2006), and 'The British Olympics: Britain's Olympic heritage 1612-2012', published by English Heritage in 2011.


Dr Martin Polley | talks


Date and Time:

22 August 2012 at 1:00 pm


1 hour



The Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide
29 Russell Square
020 7636 7247

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Admission is free, but places must be reserved in advance by emailing info@wienerlibrary.co.uk or calling 020 7636 7247.

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