inspirational – Sir Nicholas Winton – saved 669 children destined for Nazi death camps
If each of us used the little means that we have to make the world a better place could you imagine the amazing feeling of peace that would envelop us?
On January 27, 2005 the United Nations General Assembly held a special session in remembrance of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp on the same day of 1945. This is the first time that the international organization made a remembrance of victims of the Holocaust as a way to prevent future genocides. Also the General Assembly took the day 27 of January as the International Day in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust.
This video is the BBC Programme “That’s Life” aired in 1988. The most touching video ever.
Sir Nicholas Winton is a humanitarian who organized the rescue and passage to Britain of about 669 mostly Jewish Czechoslovakian children destined for the Nazi death camps before World War II in an operation known as the Czech Kindertransport.
The British press has dubbed him the “BritishSchindler”
Shortly before Christmas 1938, Winton was planning to travel to Switzerland for a skiing holiday. He decided instead to visit Prague and help his friend Martin Blake, who had called to ask him to assist in Jewish welfare work. Winton single-handedly established an organisation to aid children from Jewish families at risk from the Nazis. He set up his office at a dining room table in his hotel in Wenceslas Square. In November 1938, following the Kristallnacht in Nazi-ruled Germany, the House of Commons approved a measure to allow the entry into Britain of refugees younger than 17, provided they had a place to stay and a warranty of £50 was deposited for their eventual return to their own country
An important obstacle was getting official permission to cross into the Netherlands, as the children were destined to embark on the ferry at the Hook of Holland. After the Kristallnacht in November 1938, the Dutch government officially closed its borders to any Jewish refugees. The border guards (marechaussee) actively searched for them and returned any found to Germany, despite the horrors of Kristallnacht being well known. (From the border, the synagogue in Aachen could be seen burning just 3 miles away).
Winton succeeded, thanks to the guarantees he had obtained from Britain.
Winton found homes in Britain for 669 children, many of whose parents would perish in Auschwitz. Winton’s mother worked with him to place the children in homes and later hostels.
After the war, Nicholas Winton didn’t tell anyone, not even his wife Grete about his wartime rescue efforts.
In 1988, a half century later, Grete found a scrapbook from 1939 in their attic, with all the children’s photos, a complete list of names, a few letters from parents of the children to Winton and other documents. She finally learned the whole story.
By sending letters to these addresses, 80 of “Winton’s children” were found in Britain. The world found out about his work in 1988 during an episode of the BBC television programme That’s Life!
On 1 September 2009 a special “Winton Train” set off from the Prague Main railway station. The train, comprising an original locomotive and carriages used in the 1930s, headed to London via the original Kindertransport route. On board were several surviving “Winton children” and their descendants, who were welcomed by Winton in London. The occasion marked the 70th anniversary of the intended last Kindertransport, due to set off on 3 September 1939 but prevented by the outbreak of the Second World War. At the train’s departure, Winton’s statue was unveiled at the railway station.
sources Youtube and Wiki-pedia
Posted on January 27, 2015, in Di's Articles, Inspirational Finds and tagged holocaust, international, jews, Sir Nicholas Winton, Winton Train, wintons children. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.