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Dagmar Dasha Simkova Dagmar Dasha Simkova i(A49958 works by)
Born: Established: 23 May 1929 Prague,
Czech Republic,
Eastern Europe, Europe,
; Died: Ceased: 24 Feb 1995 Perth, Western Australia,
Gender: Female
Arrived in Australia: ca. 1968
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Dagmar Simkova was the daughter of Jaroslav Šimek, a private banker, who established the Jaroslav Šimek Bank in Prague, with a branch in the southern Bohemian town of Pisek, where he lived with his wife and two daughters.

Pisek had a thriving artistic community, including a film school, and Dagmar's father was known as a man kind to artists and supportive of the arts.

Dagmar became a student at Charles University in Prague, but her opportunities were restricted by the then-communist government. In protest, she began designing and posting anti-regime posters, for which activity she was arrested. When her home was searched after her arrest, authorities found two young men in transit to the safety of Switzerland.

Dagmar was sentenced to many years' incarceration. After a brief escape from the prison, she was rearrested and sentenced to further detention (at which point her mother was also incarcerated, as an associate to Dagmar's activities).

Dagmar and her mother were released on amnesty in 1968, and shortly thereafter decided to follow the elder daughter, Marta, to Australia, to which country she had immigrated in 1951. They arrived in Sydney and travelled to Kununurra, in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

Dagmar soon moved to Perth, where she gained a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Social Work and Administration from the University of Western Australia, and worked as a social worker with the Western Australia Department of Prisons. She has also held many exhibitions of her craftwork in Western Australia and Sydney.

According to her nephew:

'A Czech magazine journalist (Pavlina Formankova) wrote an article about Dagmar which more or less started a whole new discovery of Dagmar’s life. Interest grew rapidly, with the Institute of Totalitarian Studies (Charles University, Prague) taking an interest.

'Several documentaries have been made, radio stories with excerpts from the book as well as other publications.

'A play based on the court that sent her to prison was performed by the Prague National Theatre.

'I believe wheels were in motion to nominate her for a Nobel peace prize, her death came too soon. She has' however' received the Vaclav Benda medal (a Czech national acknowledgement).'

Dagmar died in Perth in 1995.

Most Referenced Works


  • Author writes in these languages:CZECH
Last amended 26 Feb 2014 09:29:12
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