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Daughter of "British Schindler" Recalls Father's Humanity

Sir Nicholas Winton Photo: flickr/germanembassylondon

The world would be a different place if Nicholas Winton hadn't rescued the lives of thousands of children from the Nazis in 1939. The Forward writer Thea Glassman shares the story of the "British Schindler," and how his generosity and humanity still inspire people today - including his daughter.

In 1939, Sir Nicholas Winton was a 29-year-old London stockbroker with a seemingly impossible plan. He was going to save hundreds of Czechoslovakian children from the Nazis — and he wasn’t going to get caught...

But first, he needed pictures. Czech parents responded with an outpouring of photographs of their children, which were then placed in British newspapers as advertisements, with the hopes of attracting the attention of potential foster parents. Later, Mr. Winton would wait for the children to arrive at Liverpool station, his list of names in hand.

It is not clear exactly how many people are alive today as a result of the rescue operation, but Ms. Winton estimates it to be as many as 7,000. It’s hard to be sure, though. When Mr. Winton’s story first went public, only a percentage of the children came forward. “The people who did speak about it were quite courageous.” Ms. Winton said. “For some it was a very traumatic thing to talk about. But they felt obliged to explain what happened and to honor their parents who made the ultimate sacrifice.”

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