Sir Nicholas Winto

Sir Nicholas Winto While there is no escaping the countless stories of pain, murder, and atrocity that the Holocaust created, there are also stories that help prove the existence of good, as well. The story of Sir Nicholas Winton is one such example, and helps to illustrate that even in the midst of so much evil, good people were willing to risk their lives in order to help others.
Nicholas Winton was 29 and working as a stockbroker in London in 1938, as the Nazis were beginning to spread their evil throughout Europe. He canceled a planned skiing holiday due to a simple phone call from a friend named Martin Blake. At Blake's request, Winton instead traveled to Prague. Once there, Blake explained the conditions that Jews and other refugees were being forced to endure at the hands of the Nazis.
Winton had already realized that the Germans would eventually occupy all of Czechoslovakia, after they had annexed much of the Western portion of it. This, combined with Kristallnacht, helped Winton decide that action had to be taken. He focused his attention on the children of refugees and those that had been orphaned.
Britain had recently enacted a policy that allowed children under the age of 17 to enter the country as long as they had to have a family willing to look after the child, and a deposit of 50 pounds. Since most refugees couldn't even afford to buy a piece of bread, the deposit was out of the reach of almost anyone suffering from Nazi oppression.
Winton went about setting up a rescue operation that was modeled on another operation known as Operation Kindertransport. A fundraising effort raised half a million pounds over a period of just six months, and nearly 10,000 children were rescued through these funds. But this particular effort ignored Czech children, which Winton focused his own Kindertransport on.
Winton had to secure homes as well as raising funds, and finding homes for the children was as difficult as raising the money. Eventually, Winton managed to save the lives of 669 children who would have certainly ended up in labor or death camps, or executed in ghettos. Winton never told anyone of his efforts, even his wife, and it wasn't until 1988 that his efforts were finally revealed. Winton was knighted, and given several awards for his efforts. He's often referred to today as 'Britain's Schindler' thanks to his lifesaving efforts. 

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