Ivanka Zdenka Matylda Anna Richarda Myskova

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 24 September 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h5028
  1. Roslyn Jamieson

Ivanka Zdenka Matylda Anna Richarda Myskova (née Schneider, known as “Iva”) was an inspirational woman born in Nectiny in the Sudetenland; her family were of Czech origin.

She and her brother were the sixth generation of her family to practise medicine. Earlier generations were physicians to the von Furstenberg family, and Iva’s father, Richard Schneider, became GP to the German community of Nectiny.

Iva’s early life was disrupted by warfare and politics. Hitler was already engaging in the “purification and perfecting” of the German people by exterminating those he deemed as imperfect, when appeasement resulted in the ceding of the Sudetenland to him. The Schneider family were expelled from Nectiny and escaped to Plasy, a village near Pilsen, Czechoslovakia. They lived there in an apartment in a Cistercian monastery adjoining the Metternich Princes’ Chateau. As the second world war broke out, her parents became involved with the local resistance movement. Iva started her schooling, and her father continued to practise as a doctor. …

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