Sir Nicholas Winton passed away today aged 106, a wonderful innings for a man who deserved it.
Between 1938 and 1939 Sir Nicholas Winton saved 669 Jewish children from the Nazis. He almost single handedly organised trains to transport children out of Czechoslovakia to the Netherlands, he managed to convince the Dutch government to allow them through by arranging British families willing to give a £50 deposit (to allow them to return to their home countries) and then take them in as Britain was only taking refugees under 17 with these conditions.
He organised 8 trains, his final train scheduled to leave on the 1st September 1939 never left, Hitler had invaded and the war had begun, nearly all 250 children scheduled to take that train died in the Holocaust.
The amazing thing about Winton, even more amazing really is that after 1939 he never told people what he had done. It wasn’t until his wife found a scrapbook in 1988 that his deeds were revealed to the world. In this wonderful tv segment he was introduced to children he had saved.
He went on to register as a Conscientious Objector in 1940 and worked with the Red Cross. he eventually gave that up and joined the British Air Force where he served the rest of the war as a pilot. He worked with the International Refugee Organisation and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and eventually he worked in finance and raised 3 children living a quiet small town life.
He continued throughout the time he was known to the public to give credit to the other British men and women who evacuated children from Prague including Trevor Chadwick who stayed into the war and continued to look for ways to save as many as possible.