Margita Hercl was born in Subotica at the beginning of the 20th century (22 February 1900) in a well-to-do, multi-lingual, Jewish family: besides Hungarian and Serbian she spoke German and French by the time she went to study medicine in Vienna. After completing her studies and passing the Professional Paediatrics exam (1928), she worked first as an apprentice in Subotica, later becoming head of the Children’s Polyclinic in 1932. From 1936 she continued her professional career in the Institute of Hygiene in Banja Luka, and opened a private practice there in 1938. She was active in the Banja Luka Women’s Movement from its inception (September 1, 1935) and initiated various social activities related to her chosen profession, and also to issues of women’s equality. In December 1941, she became involved in the national liberation struggle: she was head of the Čemernica Detachment Hospital, where she died in a Chetnik attack in 1942. In this paper, we explore the life story of the antifascist Dr Margita Hercl, with the aim of reviving her memory in her hometown of Subotica, as well as in Banja Luka, where she worked professionally, thus connecting the region through women’s activism (which is considerable). We combine a biographical method with other people’s memories and documentation preserved in the two cities.

Keywords: Dr Margita Hercl, medicine, Women’s Movement, National Liberation Struggle (NOB), antifascism, activism.

Bašaragin, Margareta; Gajić, Draga (2020). „ Dr Margita Hercl (1900-1942): Antifascist and Female Scholar“, Book of Abstracts, Academic Conference 11–13 February 2020 Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Belgrade, 24-25.

Ph.D. Margareta Bašaragin and Draga Gajić