The Second World War was a nightmare. One especially horrifying part of the war was the Holocaust, the murder by the Nazis of millions of men, women, and children simply because they were Jewish. In 1938 and 1939, shortly before the outbreak of the war, Nazi Germany occupied much of Czechoslovakia. This placed the country’s Jewish residents, most especially, in mortal danger.
In the war, Nicholas George Winton ended up serving as a Lieutenant in Britain’s Royal Air Force. But he was also a humanitarian: in fact he began the war as a conscientious objector, though he soon changed his mind and enlisted. But where Winton really made his mark on history was something he did before the war. In 1938 and 1939, he helped organize the rescue of thousands of children, most of them Jewish, from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia.
The operation became known as Kindertransport (German for “children transportation”). Winton’s own efforts directly helped 669 children achieve safe passage to Britain, almost certainly saving their lives. Incredibly, Operation Kindertransport only become known to the general public 40 years after it happened.
Later, in 2003, Winton was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his “services to humanity, in saving Jewish children from Nazi occupied Czechoslovakia,” officially becoming Sir Nicholas George Winton.
Most of the world found out about this remarkable story in 1988 when a BBC television show called “That’s Life” invited him to make an appearance. In the video we’ve posted below, you can see Sir Nicholas receive deeply moving and truly unforgettable recognition of his heroism.
Were you overwhelmed by this video about a man who saved so many lives? We invite you to give us your thoughts in the Facebook comments. And be sure to like and share so your friends can learn about this inspiring story of decency and heroism.
Did you get teary-eyed? I know I sure did! I included another short video above that you might like.
What a humble, AMAZING soul. You can watch more of him on ’60 Minutes’ here:
My 8 year old granddaughter sums him up well: “He’s a real life superhero. This is going above and beyond. Saving one would make him a hero, saving 600+? He risked his life, his livelihood, and everything he knew and loved to save HUNDREDS of people he didn’t know.” I’m so proud of her for saying that!