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
Yet there were acts of courage and human decency during the Holocaust -
stories to bear witness to goodness, love and compassion.
is the story of an incredible man and his amazing gift to mankind - the English stockbroker,
SirNicholas 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.
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