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In Memoriam: Tom Schrecker

Tom Schrecker

Tom Schrecker

The College was greatly saddened to hear that Mr Thomas Schrecker (1952, History), Foundation Fellow, died on 6 May 2024 aged 92.

Univ is deeply grateful to Tom and his family for his generous benefaction which supports the Schrecker-Barbour Tutorial Fellowship in Slavonic and East European Studies. Professor Polly Jones is the current Schrecker-Barbour Fellow. Mr Schrecker also supported the annual Schrecker Dinner for undergraduate students of the College. Tom wanted to encourage discussion between students students from diverse backgrounds and academic disciplines and saw conversation over dinner as one way of doing this.

He was elected as a Foundation Fellow in 2007, an honour which is awarded to those individuals who have made exceptional benefactions to the College.

Born in 1932, Tom Schrecker was one of 669 mainly Jewish children from Czechoslovakia who were saved from the Nazis by the rescue mission of British humanitarian Sir Nicholas Winton. He arrived in Britain in June 1939 on the fifth of eight trains. His father, a successful textile wholesaler, managed to escape later but his mother was killed in Auschwitz. Tom’s sponsor and guardian in the UK was Jean Barbour, who came from a distinguished Scottish family.

Mr Schrecker was an Exhibitioner in Modern History at Univ from 1952-55. After Univ he became Export Manager for the Reader’s Digest and later their Managing Director for Asia. In 1967 he moved to Australia where he founded Direct Marketing Publishing and Cosmetic companies which he later sold, and retired in 1990. After 2015 he lived in his native Prague.

Mr Schrecker was interviewed for the documentaries Silá Lidskosti (The Power of Good): Nicholas Winton (Matej Minác, 2001), which won an Emmy Award, and Nicky’s Family (Matej Minác, 2011).

A full obituary will be included in the next issue of the University College Record.

Published: 14 May 2024

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