Posts Tagged ‘Schindler’

‘British Schindler’ Sir Nicholas Winton honoured for saving children from Nazi death camps

October 29th, 2014

Following the German annexation of the Sudetenland in 1938, Winton arranged transport for 669 children, most of them Jewish, from Czechoslovakia through Germany to Britain ahead of the outbreak of World War II.

The first transport left on 14 March 1939, the day before the German occupation of Czechoslovakia, according to the Holocaust Memorial Museum.

A final train load of 250 children, due to depart on 3 September 1939, was prevented from leaving when Poland was invaded.

The children were taken by train to foster families in England who were willing to put up the then-huge sum of 50 pounds sterling and had agreed to look after them until they were 17.

Sir Nicholas was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2003.


World War Two

Sir Nicholas Winton: Britain’s Schindler honoured by Czech Republic

October 28th, 2014

An estimated 6,000 children around the world are descendants of ‘Nicky’s Children’.

Speaking at the ceremony, with members of his family looking on, he was typically modest about his role in history. “I thank the British people for making room for them, to accept htem, and of course the enormous help given by so many of the Czechs who at that time were doing what they could to fight the Germans and to try and get the children out,” he said.

“In that respect, I was of some help and this is the result.”


Nicholas Winton with one of the children he rescued from Czechoslovakia

President Zeman said he was ashamed that Winton had waited so long to receive the honour, but added: “Better late than never.”

Sir Nicholas’s actions came to public attention only in 1988, when he was reunited with some of those who owed him their lives on an emotional episode of the BBC programme That’s Life!

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme before the ceremony, Sir Nicholas said he was saddened by the state of the world today.

“We have made a mess of it,” he said. “I don’t think we ever learn from our mistakes of the past. I don’t think we have learned anything.

“The world today is in a more dangerous situation than it has ever been, and so long as we have got weapons of mass destruction nothing is safe any more.”


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Britain’s Schindler saved my life

May 20th, 2014

One of the children evactuated, Lord Dubs, said he was in no doubt that Sir Nicholas had saved his life.

Lord Dubs said the founder of the Czech Kindertransport was “one of the most incredibly wonderful human beings of the present age. I owe my life to him, so do many others owe our lives to him.”

“I can remember some of it extremely vividly. It’s quite astonishing – people are surprised. I can still see my mother standing in Prague station. A German soldiers with a swastika nearby. Mother looking very anxious to say goodbye. All the mothers and parents looking very anxious to say goodbye to their children, in some cases for the last time,” he said.

Barbara Winton, Sir Nicholas’ daughter, said her father, who turned 105 on 19 May, “doesn’t like looking back into history.”

“People say to him ‘you’ve done a wonderful thing, you’re a hero. What you did was fantastic, you’re a superman. And he says no, I was an ordinary human being. I understood what was going on in the world, and I acted in an ethical way based on my knowledge and my compassion,’” she said.

To honour Sir Nicholas’ achievement, the government of the Czech Republic has informed him he is to be bestowed with the Order of the White Lion, its highest state honour.


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