By: Caroline Hilton | Gerta Vrbova obituary | Neuroscience | The Guardian
My mother, Gerta Vrbova, who has died aged 93, was a Holocaust survivor who escaped from the Gestapo and went on to become a professor of developmental neuroscience at University College London.
She was born in Trnava, Slovakia, to Maximilian Sidon, a butcher, and his wife, Jozefina (nee Frankova), who ran a company making blinds. Her early years were happy and peaceful. It was in 1939 that things changed, following the Nazi invasion of what was then Czechoslovakia. Gerta’s life during the second world war years was a matter of changing identities and crossing borders in order to stay alive.