David and Hannah Jacobs

It was a deep sense of sadness that my wife and I learnt from an article in the Jewish Chronicle that your mother Marina had died and I wanted to send you our condolences and to wish you and your family ‘Long Life’ We first met your Marina about 30 years ago when we made our first visit to Laxton and it was she who greeted us at the front door. She exuded a deep warmth to us as visitors to her ‘home’ which made our visit most extraordinary. We followed the development of the Centre and her pride in all its achievements. … Read the rest

Adrienne Ross

Dear Smith Family,
I am so sorry for your loss. Although I only met Mrs. Smith once, my late husband, Henry Ross, knew her well & had tremendous admiration for her & for all of you. Before he became ill, he really used to look forward to his visits from Newcastle on Tyne to Beth Shalom & Marina always made him very welcome. She was most hospitable & supportive in every way.
I wish you all a long life, free from further sorrow & with many happy memories.
Best wishes,
Adrienne Ross.… Read the rest

Ben Walker

I’ve heard it is hard work being a mother and that even just one or two children are a handful. So how do you be a mother to thousands – but you just were – you were to me and I saw you doing it first hand with a mother’s love, care and intuition for everyone who came your way.

Recently I came home to find a vase of red, white and blue flowers alongside presents for my upcoming birthday – apparently you had been insistent I had them in good time. I paused for a moment – it was the eve of the Platinum Jubilee so, actually, yes, that made sense – the Queen had no bigger fan than you and you wanted to share the celebration with us and thought you would send my birthday presents at the same time.… Read the rest

Michael Bibring

I was so sad to hear the news of Marina’s passing . She was a wonderful person and indeed the whole family are an extraordinary example of the very best of humanity. I never lose sight of the irony that such wonderful people have dedicated so much of their lives to educating people so as to hopefully prevent the very worst of society prevailing.
From the very early days of Beth Shalom to it’s current world class status as the National Holocaust Museum Marina, her family and all at the centre have displayed a level of kindness love and understanding that most of us mere mortals can only dream about.… Read the rest

Daisy Allsop

Dear Stephen, James and Eddie,

I’m so sorry to hear that Mrs Smith has passed away. Whilst I was only at the Holocaust Centre for a few short years, it was such an honour to meet and spend time with Mrs Smith. I will always remember her warmth and kindness, particularly on my last day at the Holocaust Centre when I was invited round to Bethany for tea and cake – a memory I hold dear to my heart. Thinking of you all.

With love,

Daisy… Read the rest

Henry Grunwald OBE QC

I was lucky enough to know Marina for many years, first as a visitor to Beth Shalom, then as a Trustee of the Centre and finally as its Chair.  What a truly remarkable woman – short in stature but a giant in the way that she lived her life!  Loved by all, not just by Eddie and Stephen and James and the family, but by all whose lives she touched, especially her wider family, the survivors.  When she entered the room, they all stood and rushed to hug and kiss her.  They did that because of what she had done for them, opening her heart and her home to them, becoming a family for those who had none and enabling them all to tell their stories to the hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Centre. … Read the rest

Grace Walker

To Dearest Mother,

I lost my teddy bear at the supermarket – I must have been 2 or 3 – a honey coloured teddy with a blue dress and a bow. I was so sad. Somehow you found out and for my birthday, a new beautiful beige teddy bear, identical but with a brown dress and the same bow, arrived from ‘Thutha’ (Mum and Dad called you Mother –so I said Thutha at 2 years). You made me so happy.

Thank you for holding my hand, a hand that held so many hands – a warm hand hold of gentleness and sureness. I needed you and you never let me go – that’s what mattered most.… Read the rest

Susanna Russell

Dearest Mother

Along with countless others, I have known and received your care and love my whole life- nearly 40 years! I consider it the most immense privilege to have known and received your wisdom, guidance and encouragement throughout my life in so many ways and I wouldn’t be the person I am today without you.

Your impact and influence, upon my life and upon hundreds and thousands of others is immeasurable. Your light glowed bright, long and far.

You had the ability to understand and love people like no other.… Read the rest

Helen Barker

Dearest Smith Family,

Sending you my love as you go through this time of grief.

As I write this I’m finding it hard to take in and digest that Mrs Smith has passed away. She has been a constant throughout my life and although not possible it somehow felt that she would be here forever.

What a blessing she has given me personally. How humbling that she loved me. She has left me with so
many treasured memories, words, letters, writings and books to guide me. I have been so privileged!

I look back to how Mrs Smith helped mum through her illness and held her hand along that journey right to the end.… Read the rest

Jenny Low

Dearest MMarina,

It is an honour and blessing to know you and your family through my life in Pontefract and Grimsby and Brunei. You are a True Ambassador of Love and Peace as what I had written my email to you few days before you are with Our Father in heaven. I will try not be sad about your sudden demise But knowing that you have finished your race and is at home with the Lord, with no pain and can move freely, maybe skipping. We will see each other again in heaven. I will always love you. Thanking you for your hard work throughout the years gone by and how you have welcome so many people to Beth Shalom later become The Holocaust Centre.… Read the rest

Chantelle Meckenstock

The news of Mrs Smith’s passing filled me with great sadness. Memories of her came flooding back, like it was yesterday that I sat at Bethany and the quiet places of the Holocaust Centre, watching the many milestones of the vision of Tikkum Olam unfolding.

I remember all the hand-written notes and letters she wrote. It was so personal and full of amazing updates of all that is happening.

She took a personal interest in my journey to become a better educator and provided opportunities for a more meaningful and fulfilling purpose with my training.

Read the rest

Claire Gartland

Dearest Family Smith, it is with great sadness that I send my love and condolences to you at this time of loss. Thank you for sharing this very special lady with so many of us – it has been the greatest honour to call her my friend and to experience her mother love.

– – – – – – – –

” ‘Make haste, Beloved, be thou like an hart
On mountains spicy sweet:
And I, on those High Places where thou art,
Will follow on hinds’ feet;
As close behind the hart, there leaps the roe,
So where thou goest.… Read the rest

Maggie Walker

The most extraordinary, wondrous, loving Mother figure who has ever been.  This says it all, but to relate it to myself personally, as many can, I have experienced these facets over and over again for nearly 42 years.  Whatever was good, right, generous and wise, was shown and imparted to me and my family on a personal level in more varied ways than can be counted.  Why?  G-d knows.

I was a troubled and very troublesome girl just turned 20 when our paths crossed.  Mrs Smith in sincerity reached out to me because she wanted to save me from myself and ruining those around me.  … Read the rest

Jane Walker

Dearest Smith Family

My heart is truly saddened to be writing this to you, here is my tribute to our dearly loved Mrs Smith:

My sister and I lost our father at a very young age and so life began with a feeling of something missing. Soon afterwards the Smith family came into our lives as they moved to the area in which we lived. I’m sure my mother would not mind me saying that Mrs Smith became a very great friend to her in her time of need. We enjoyed great fun and family times visiting the Manse in Ollerton and then later visiting the Smith family in their home at Beth Shalom.… Read the rest

Jane Marquard

I am so sad to hear that the world has lost this gentle, determined and beautiful woman, Marina Smith. Doing some work with the wonderful Aegis I arrived with my daughter Niña at her home to be greeted like a family member. There was a magnificent afternoon tea, a tour of the delightful English garden with a focus on her special roses and a perusal of all the books about Aegis, her travels and family albums. She was very interested in my mixed Jewish/ Christian family with the incredible tributes her family has made to both religions.… Read the rest

Jeff Bungeri

I`m just speechless and at a loss for words, Marina is and will always be
an angle among us that cared for us all, guided us and you can always feel her
Love and gentleness as she walked through life beside us.
Having had the pleasure to meet Mrs. Smith it was an honor and beginning of a great friendship with an angle that day after day she had my family and I at heart and showered us with chocolates full of love.
She guided us through James and Stephen the best could and taught us all like no other the values of life.… Read the rest

Debbie Barker

Dearest Mother,

I first remember coming to see you when I was 7 years old. I felt completely enveloped in love. You were the first person to understand me and you knew instinctively what was wrong even though I found it difficult to explain.

And your warm hugs were like being nestled under a mother hen’s wings and I knew all was well. On that day my life changed.

Since then you have been a dearest mother to me and to my family and have always been there, guiding, teaching, forgiving, making things right again and pouring out love every day. … Read the rest

Jean-François Gisimba

I am crying.
I mourn a loved one –

Receive my condolences James and Stephen, Eduard Smith.

I have rarely read such a painful message. I had found in your mother, James and Stephen, a Mum I lost at a young age…..

Just two months ago I was in the UK. I contacted James to ask if I could drop by to say hello to his Mum. I received as an answer that Marina invite me for lunch.
I had a great time with Marina and Eduard Smith. I could not imagine that I was meeting Marina for the last time.
I promised her to come back in September with my wife and children –
She is gone to meet her Maker and be rewarded by the Almighty for her good work –

Marina sent me messages at Christmas and sometimes at Easter.… Read the rest

Beatha Uwazaninka

I cannot find words to describe the sadness of losing another Mother!! She has known me longer than my own mother after meeting me at age of 22 !!
Nottingham will never be the-same without her!
Where ever I went in the world always knew I had a home to come back to!! Her words to me was “ never forget you are my daughter “ fair well mother until we meet again! You have been my anchor for so long !!! All my life I learn to switch off my emotions but this time I can’t ! In your passing I found healing will have to face them now .… Read the rest

Hannah Brown

Dearest Mother,

How can I put in words what you mean to me and how much you will be missed. You are loved to Heaven and back. You have been a constant throughout my whole life. You have always been there. Life will never be the same now you have gone. Thank you for all you have done for me and my family, which will only be known in Heaven.

Thank you for being you and giving of yourself to others. Thank you for caring about the details, because as you have often said, “caring about the little details makes the biggest difference”.… Read the rest

Garry Clarkson

What a shock I experienced today on reading the email from Stephen and James.

Mrs Marina Smith, you are and were a truly sincere and inspirational lady. The Smith family, with Marina and Eddie at its very heart, have given us such an immense legacy of care, compassion and remembrance for the Holocaust and the Rwandan genocide.

I remember with fondness the first time I ever set foot inside Beth Shalom; at the first-ever Sixth Form conference organised at The Centre. Mrs Smith stood smiling in the hallway welcoming us with such kindness into the newly established facility.… Read the rest

Myra Osrin

I mourn the loss of a very dear friend.

The one hour, twenty minute train journey from London to Newark and my first meeting with Marina and Stephen at Beth Shalom was for me a life-changing experience. Over the years, since that first meeting, I have enjoyed a very special friendship with Marina. My annual visits from Cape Town to my family in London always included a visit to Bethany, sometimes accompanied by my late husband, children and grandchildren .

Inbetween these treasured reunions I was privileged to have been a recipient of Marina’s wonderful emails – brimful with heartwarming and inspiring news of Beth Shalom, Stephen and James and her wonderful grandchildren.… Read the rest