Sir Nicholas Winton has just passed away at the remarkable age of 106. Until the 1980’s few people knew of the single minded determination he had shown in rescuing hundreds of mainly Jewish children from Czechoslovakia as the Nazis over-ran the country on the eve of the Second World War.
On 1st September 1939 a train packed with more children than had ever been assembled previously, left Prague en route to Britain but sadly with the start of the Second World War the train with its young passengers never reached its destination and none of the children on board was ever heard of again.
On Sept. 1, 2009, at exactly 9:01 a.m., a train which served as both a celebration and a memorial, departed Hlavni Nadrazi, Prague’s main rail station. Among the 170 passengers were 22 of “Winton’s Children,” 64 of their descendants, notable dignitaries, and Sir Winton’s daughter, Barbara. For four days, the Winton Train traversed the same route the children travelled in 1939. The 1295 km journey took them from Prague to Hoek van Holland, Netherlands, via Nuremburg, Germany. From Hoek van Holland, the passengers took a ship to Britain, just as Winton’s children had 70 years before.
From the British coastal town of Harwich, a final train carried the travellers to London’s Liverpool Street Station, where the now 100-year-old Sir Winton greeted the train bearing his name. Despite the significant role Winton played in their lives, for the 22 survivors, it was their first glimpse of him. What did they say? “Thank you,” expressed one survivor. “What else is there?”
Use this link to find out more about the 2009 train: http://trn.trains.com/railroads/railroad-history/2010/01/wintons-train-remembering-a-holocaust-hero
Use this link to read the obituary of this remarkable man in today’s Daily Telegraph; a man who really made a difference to the lives’ of so many: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/11711344/Sir-Nicholas-Winton-humanitarian-obituary.html
Click here to download a PDF of this News Brief: SANS News Brief – 017 – Sir Nicholas Winton