Friday, July 3, 2015

Nicholas Winton - the British Schindler

There is a saying that good people are hard to find. It is true. It is not because they are scarce, but because they don't boast about their goodness or seek attention. One such a beautiful yet humble person was Nicholas Winton. He was responsible for the rescue of 669 children during one of the darkest periods of history - the holocaust, and yet his story was never heard of until 1988.

Nicholas Winton, aged 29, was working as a stockbroker in London in 1938. Invited by a friend, Winton had foregone his ski vacation and visited Czechoslovakia after the ill fated Munich Agreement. After his visit, convinced about the impending war, He organized a Children Section of British Committee of Refugees from Czechoslovakia, without any prior approval. Through tireless efforts, he was able to transport 669 children in eight trains to London. Singlehandedly he managed to get sufficient fund as well as families willing to care for these refugee children. However, his rescue efforts came to an end once the war broke out in 1939.

He never shared about his wartime rescue efforts to anyone including his wife Grete, whom he married after the war. Half a century later, in 1988, Grete found a scrapbook in their attic, which had pictures and names of the Winton's children as well as a few letters from the parents of the children. Ever since his story got published in newspapers and aired in BBC's That's Life, he had been receiving thanking letters from the rescued. In fact, Winton had no idea that the audience of That's Life was full of the people he had saved and described it as one of the most emotional experiences of his life.

This great man passed away on 1st July, 2015. His story will live forever and keep inspiring people to do good even in the darkest of the time. His story will remind us that the world is full of good people.

“Nicholas Winton, we should learn from his motivation and from his courage and act, we must carry his spirit from generation to generation, then humanities future will be brighter.” - Dalai Lama

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