A life-sized cast-bronze statue of Professor Sir Ludwig "Poppa" Guttmann has been unveiled by Professor Guttman’s son, Dr Denis Guttmann and daughter, Eva Loeffler OBE at a ceremony attended by over 400 people many of them former patients. The statue will stand at Stoke Mandeville Stadium during the 2012 Games and will then be moved to a permanent home at the National Spinal Injuries Centre in Stoke Mandeville. In addition to the statue a cast bronze bust of Sir Ludwig was presented to Sir Philip Craven, head of the International Paralympic Committee and will appear at every Paralympic Games from London 2012 onwards.
The idea for the statue was developed by founder of the Poppa Guttmann Trust, Mike MacKenzie. One of the key objectives of The Trust is to advance the education of the Paralympic Movement and the work of Sir Ludwig Guttmann in the treatment of spinal cord injuries.
More details of the ceremony can be found in these news reports:
A Reception at the House of Lords on 4th July to celebrate and recognise the work of The Council for Assisting Refugee Academics (CARA), also paid tribute to Sir Ludwig Guttmann who, along with his family, was assisted in leaving Germany in 1939 by CARA. Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson was the key speaker and spoke of the importance of sport for disabled people and the changing of attitudes to disability through sport which has been driven by The Paralympic Games. Poppa Guttmann's vision has been and continues to be life changing for all.
Eva Loeffler, Sir Ludwig's daughter spoke of her family's eternal gratitude to CARA without whom they would not have avoided their almost certain fate in concentration camps. To illustrate that point it happened to be Dr Denns Guttmann's, Sir Ludwig's son, 83rd birthday which was fittingly celebrated at this reception. A very moving recording of Sir Ludwig was played speaking of his meeting with The Gestapo when he was accused of protecting his Jewish patients. He saved 60 out of 63 from the camps and was then fortunate to be helped to reach England with his family by CARA in 1939.
This was a timely celebration of the work of CARA and Sir Ludwig Guttmann The 2012 London Paralympic Games without both would not be happening,