Trude Feldman was born in Czechoslovakia in 1910 and grew up in Prague. Isidor Dub was born in 1907 in Poland. He and his family moved to Vienna at the outbreak of the First World War and then back to Poland.
When Isidor was 18 he studied medicine but Polish Universities were openly anti-semitic. There was a ‘Jew Bench’ at the back of lecture halls and Jews were regularly attacked, so Isidor moved to Charles University in Prague. This is how he met Trude. They married in 1933 while Isidor was still studying to be a doctor specialising in paediatrics.
Escaping the Nazis
When Hitler marched into Prague, Trude and Isidor knew they had to leave. They struggled to get passports and permits and managed to escape on the last train out of Prague before the borders were sealed. They had tried to convince their families to join them but sadly none did. They were almost sole survivors of their families.
As a foreigner, Dr. Dub was not allowed to practise medicine. He worked in an armaments factory in Birmingham for two years where he received an award for diligent work. In 1941 there was a shortage of trained doctors in England. Instead of importing doctors from Commonwealth countries it was decided to allow qualified refugees to work. As he was already a children’s specialist and had an MD qualification he was not required to retrain. He got a job as Temporary Assistant Medical Officer of Health and Assistant School Medical Officer in Leicester and became a highly respected and much loved paediatrician. After the war Dr Dub continued in public health declining to enter into private practice and refusing payments for any private consultations. He remained active in the field of children’s health and it was widely acknowledged that if a parent was worried about their child, then so was Dr Dub!
In 1962 he set up what was probably the first obesity clinic for children in this country. He put forward the theory that it was not largely psychological or emotional issues causing the problem but linked poor eating habits to poorer backgrounds. This is in line with current medical thinking of obesity versus income.
Trude was a free-lance writer, journalist, teacher of creative writing, broadcaster, translator and interpreter. She had a quick wit, a penetrating intelligence, a fund of wisdom and an indomitable spirit.
She was a founder member of the Leicester Writers Club in 1958, and became a life member in 1992 having served as press officer, president and vice-president. She broadcast over 50 talks on BBC national and local radio and was published in the Listener and in two BBC anthologies. She was a translator and interpreter in both Czech and German and her work included the publication of several technical handbooks for local industry and a number of literary translations, including poetry.
For over 40 years she was the Leicester correspondent of the Jewish Chronicle and was so prolific that London readers believed Leicester to be a much larger community than was the case. Her contributions included coverage of the local social, political, arts and educational scene and the writing of profiles, obituaries, theatre and film criticism, book reviews and commissioned articles. She filed her last report in the week before her death.
After the war, Leicester had expanded due to the evacuations to such an extent, the community was able to support five different Minyanim. Trude, realising that there was little in Leicester for newly arrived immigrants, quickly established cultural and social events. She was actively involved in many of the committees in the Leicester Hebrew Congregation.
Isidor was always impeccably dressed, very courteous and, amongst his friends, showed his wicked sense of humour. Trude was a giant personality in a small frame who kept friends and strangers spellbound with her many vivid recollections. They were a devoted family unit, enhanced by the experiences of their past.