About Pavel Winter
Dr Pavel WINTER aka Paul was a literary critic, writer and barrister. He attended school in Straznice and then studied in both Vienna (1924 and 1925) in philosophy and Prague for his doctorate of law which he attained in 1931 from Charles University. According to Czech army records he spoke 7 languages and had bad eyesight but was allowed to join up anyhow. He joined the Czech Free Army in Haifa in Palestine in 1941 together with his cousin Hanus (Jan) REBENWURZEL and they were in a tank battalion. Hanus worked as the Rabbi for the many Jewish soldiers in the Czech army and helped Pavel when he got into trouble in the military for his conduct towards an officer he believed was anti semitic.
WINTER was a Lance Corporal but spending 2 months in a military prison he also lost his rank and was demoted to private. He left the army under this cloud but when he returned to England he applied to President Eduard Benes in exile near London for a pardon and was granted it.
He joined the Americans in the liberation of Buchenwald and worked for UNRRA in Europe and England helping to resettle the displaced and refugees after the war. His work for UNRRA took him to Arolsen in Germany and he was also involved in the German restitution laws on behalf of UNRRA. He worked at the Central Tracing office in London.
Thanks to his military service the British Government granted him early naturalisation and he lived out the rest of his life unmarried, poor and childless in London until his death in 1969. He is buried in Pound Lane Willesden a liberal Jewish cemetery in London.
His book "On the Trial of Jesus" (introduction by Prof. Geza Vermes of Oxford University) was most controversial when published in 1961 and he gave talks and lectures in England and America about his thesis that Jesus had not been tried by a Jewish court and had been killed in a political decision by the Governor of Palestine. A selected bibliography of the more than 100 reviews of the book is included in its second edition by Walter de Gruyter of Berlin.
WINTER was between the wars a notable literary critic in Prague where he wrote reviews for the Jewish owned Lidove noviny newspaper. He was acquainted with writers Jakob Wasserman, Ludwig Winder and Martin Buber in his work.