Peter Briess

No one could be left untouched by Marina’s kindness and thoughtfulness!
To have had the deep feeling and empathy to conceive the opening of the Memorial Centre was quite extraordinary. No thanks are enough for what she and your family have done.
We will always remember the wonderful hospitality she offered us when I visited with my son David and his daughters Alexandra and Annabelle and were offered splendid tea in her charming home. It was exactly 7 years before she left us!… Read the rest

Lucinda O’Rourke

I remember so well when you and your family arrived at Cliff ~College to speak, 1978 I recall. Steven was about 14 yrs old and led worship. I was a student there then. Your family were clearly anointed and I felt that even then. My parents Liz and Bob Grainger came to Bethshalom many times, at that time as part of a small house fellowship where they learned so many Biblical spiritual truths from Marina.

Marina invited me to come to Beth Shalom on a number of occasions, we always had tea, lovely cake or cookies and chatted..… Read the rest

David Brown

If you never met Marina Smith, I couldn’t begin to describe what a remarkable lady she was. If you did meet her, you wouldn’t need me to. So many would say, “How on earth did Stephen and James create the Holocaust Centre and Aegis Trust?” Then they’d meet Marina and say, “Ah … now it makes sense.”

A monumental influence on my life, she was a teacher, counsellor, confidant and leader who inspired not just appreciation, affection and respect, but a sense of awe for her closeness to the Divine.… Read the rest

Tom Prinold

Our Mother has left us. We cannot believe it. She who was always there is now in eternity. If ever there was a one ready it was she. Not only was she ready she was ALWAYS ready.

She lived her life to the full here on earth, yet she always had her eyes on eternity. That is the goal – that was her goal! That’s the real thing. HERE is the preparation for THERE, a journey to heaven. She encouraged others to make ready too and to be always ready in our lives and our daily walk with that in mind.

She had a special work to do here on earth and she has done it. … Read the rest

Hanneke Dye

Dear Marina
The last time we had lunch with you, dear Marina, was on the 21st of April 2022

We did not realise that this would be the last time.

Your inspiration and courage how you dealt with your declining health was remarkable. You always had a smile even if you were in pain. You have set such a strong example for all of us to follow. You will live on in our thoughts and every time we visit Beth Shalom and see your bust you will be with us.
Many thanks for giving the survivors of the Holocaust to find a home where they feel safe.… Read the rest

Liz Grainger

My wonderful spiritual Mother you helped to change my life and helped me through so many dark years
You showed me what real love is and always pointed me to Jesus. You showed me by your life and your love for me. You always prayed for me and for my family and when we moved away to Wales I cried for 2 years or more because I was separated from you. I am not crying now because you are with Jesus and in not too many years I will be with you but there is a huge gap in my heart and on this earth because you’re no longer here with us.… Read the rest

John Bower

My dearest Mother and best friend on this earth, the great debt I owe you cannot adequately be expressed. What an amazing life you have lived. Your life-changing, world-changing work has been so unique and precious. It is going to continue. The rivers of life will continue to flow out into this needy world. Meanwhile, you have run your excellent race, fought the fight, finished the course and gone to your eternal reward, and though this time is painful for those who are left, it is also very precious, with all my love.… Read the rest

Susan Hadden

It is with great sadness that I read the email yesterday informing me that dear Marina had passed away. Marina was a very special person, with a very special soul. From the first moment when she hugged me over 20 years ago coming off the coach, when I first visited the Holocaust Centre, I knew she was a unique incredible person. Kindness poured out of her, she had such empathy and understanding for humanity and for those that suffered such horrific times in their lives. I last saw her pre covid when I visited her and dear Eddie at the cottage.… Read the rest

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

Jonathan Bower

For the world, and for so many as these tributes testify, Mrs Smith was a powerful, remarkable and visionary woman of faith and of deep conviction but also of love and compassion.

On a personal level, Mrs Smith loved and counselled me and was involved in my life as a common thread from when I was born all the way until she passed away. In life, such people are already rare but there is so much more. She also loved and counselled my parents in the Christian faith as they brought my sister and I up.… 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