Unsung Hero






The Holocaust
- the systematic annihilation of six million Jews - is a history of enduring horror and sorrow. The charred skeletons, the diabolic experiments, the death camps, the mass graves, the smoke from the chimneys ...

In 1933 nine million Jews lived in the 21 countries of Europe that would be occupied by Germany during the war. By 1945 two out of every three European Jews had been killed by the Nazis. 1.5 million children were murdered. This figure includes more than 1.2 million Jewish children, tens of thousands of Gypsy children and thousands of handicapped children.

Yet there were acts of courage and human decency during the Holocaust - stories to bear witness to goodness, love and compassion.

This is the story of an incredible man and his amazing gift to mankind - the English stockbroker, Sir Nicholas Winton. On holiday in Prague, he recognized the advancing danger and courageously rescued 669 Czech children from their doomed fate in the Nazi death camps, but his achievement went unrecognized for over half a century. He kept it secret and never told anyone about what he had achieved. For fifty years most of the children did not know to whom they owed their lives.

Today there are over 5,000 descendants of the Winton children around the world, including in the UK, Canada, Czech Republic and the United States.

Jewish refugee children
- members of the first Kindertransport

After the war, wishing to be involved with the rehabilitation of Europe's refugees, Nicholas Winton worked for international organizations. He retired early and devoted himself to charitable works.

The story of Nicholas Winton only emerged when his wife Greta came across an old leather briefcase in an attic and found a scrapbook detailing the evacuations with lists of the children and letters from their parents.

Nicholas Winton hadn't even told her of his role during the war, but she persuaded him to have his actions officially documented. Since then the story of Winton - today known as the Schindler of Britain - has gone round the world. He has been given award after award and on March 11, 2003, he was knighted by Queen Elisabeth II.

On October 9, 2007, Sir Nicholas Winton was awarded the Czech Republic's highest military decoration, The Cross Of The 1st Class, and at the ceremony the Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg supported the initiative of students and schoolchildren who have collected more than 32,000 signatures under a petition for Nicholas Winton being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for the salvation of the children from Czechoslovakia.

The Nobel Prize recipient, Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, has dedicated his life to ensuring that none of us forget what happened to the Jews. He wrote:

"In those times there was darkness everywhere. In heaven and on earth, all the gates of compassion seemed to have been closed. The killer killed and the Jews died and the outside world adopted an attitude either of complicity or of indifference. Only a few had the courage to care ..."




Louis Bülow Privacy  ©2011-13
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