The ‘British Schindler,’ Sir Nicholas Winton

Published on May 17, 2017 by the “Shoah – The Memory of a Holocaust” YouTube Channel

Children Saved from the Nazis : The Story of Sir Nicholas Winton

It is 1939 and Europe is on the brink of war. Hitler has invaded Czechoslovakia, threatening the lives of the Jewish population. Nicholas Winton, a young British stockbroker, decides he will do everything possible to save the lives of as many Jewish children as he can. This film, transmitting on Holocaust Memorial Day, tells the extraordinary story of how Nicholas Winton rescued 669 children from the clutches of the Nazis, bringing them by train to Britain.

In order to provide a degree of credibility with both the British and Nazi governments of the day, Nicholas single-handedly established the British Committee for Refugees from Czechoslovakia – Children’s Section, using it to obtain passports and visas for the children. He then organised for each child to be adopted by families throughout the country and their safe passage across Europe and into Britain.

For nearly fifty years, Nicholas told no-one of his heroic deeds. His incredible story might never have come to light were it not for his wife who, fifty years later, found a suitcase in the attic containing a remarkable scrapbook full of documents and transport plans.

The story then emerged in 1988 when the BBC’s That’s Life programme reunited over two dozen of his ‘children’ with their rescuer for the first time in a highly emotional broadcast.

ARTICLE from gov.uk – Published 23 January 2018

Britain honours its Holocaust heroes

From: Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation, The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, and The Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP

Lord Ahmad presents a ‘British Heroes of the Holocaust’ medal to the relative of an award recipient.

This Holocaust Memorial Day the government will honour 8 extraordinary individuals who went above and beyond to save hundreds of lives during the Holocaust.

At an event at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office hosted with the Israeli embassy, the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and Israeli Ambassador Mark Regev, will gather to honour heroic men and women with the British Heroes of the Holocaust medal.

The award, whose previous recipients include Sir Nicholas Winton, recognises those Britons who undertook extraordinary acts of courage and self-sacrifice, in order to help Jewish people and others.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said:

The moral conviction and bravery of the British Heroes of the Holocaust should fill us with pride.

These exceptional individuals saved hundreds of lives and went above and beyond the call of duty in the most difficult circumstances to do the right thing.

As a government we are committed to ensuring that society learns the lessons of the Holocaust so that bigotry and prejudice are given no place to take root.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said:

Nazi oppression was defeated not only through military force but also through quiet acts of courage and compassion.

These 8 individuals are true British heroes and a source of national pride for us all, fully deserving of our lasting respect and lifelong gratitude. Their willingness to stand up to hate with often little regard to their own personal safety is an inspiration to us all.

Award recipients

The 8 recipients of the award are:

British Diplomats John Carvell and Sir Thomas Preston who issued almost 1,500 Jews with certificates to enable them to escape to Palestine. Margaret Reid who worked in the Passport Control Office of the Berlin Embassy and issued visas that allowed thousands of Jews to emigrate. She often bent the rules for issuing visas, a practice that was deliberately overlooked by the British Consul-General Sir George Ogilvie-Forbes, another recipient of the award.

Academics Doreen Warriner and Trevor Chadwick who worked closely with the ‘British Schindler’ Sir Nicholas Winton (see video above) in Prague to organise the evacuation of hundreds of Jewish children from the then Czechoslovakia to Britain.

Dorothea Weber (née LeBrocq) who sheltered her Jewish friend Hedwig Bercu during the German occupation of the Channel Islands at great personal risk. She was aided by a German soldier, Kurt Ruemmele, whom she married after the war.

Otto Schiff who helped to create the Jewish Refugees Committee which arranged to bring Jews out of Germany and Austria to Britain during the war, as well as supporting them financially once here.

This government is determined that the genocide of 6 million Jews will never be forgotten. That is why it will be building a spectacular and poignant Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre, right next to Parliament, reminding all of us of the depths to which humanity can sink, and the importance of robustly opposing all forms of bigotry.

Holocaust Memorial Day 2018 will take place on Saturday 27 January with thousands of activities and events taking place across the country at community centres, schools, libraries, museums, arts venues, prisons and places of worship.

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