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Nicholas Winton: Britain's Schindler

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Monday, March 22, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET
Code: 1H0574
This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
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Memorial to Nicholas Winton in Prague’s main railway station by sculptor Flor Kent (Photo: Ludek Kovár)

Nicholas Winton's split-second decision to save as many Jewish children as possible from the Nazis remained a secret for nearly 50 years. It was an unlikely endeavor for this 29-year-old British stockbroker, the son of German Jewish parents, who was on vacation in Prague in December 1938, months before the outbreak of WWII.

With no experience in rescue operations, he plunged into the chaos and did what he could by arranging transport and then finding homes for the child refugees in Britain. It was a challenging journey, as they had to pass from Czechoslovakia through the Netherlands before arriving in England. In the end, he saved 669 children from the Nazis.

The unassuming Winton never shared his story with his family, who had no idea what he accomplished. A chance discovery led to his being invited to the BBC television program “That's Life!” and during the broadcast he was reunited with several of the children he had saved. Historian Ralph Nurnberger highlights the story of this ordinary but remarkable man who was knighted for his efforts.

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