There are many people who’s lives were saved by Oskar Schindler during the Holocaust. But, there were others who did similar activities. One of these people was Nicholas Winton – a man who saved more Czechoslovakian children during the Holocaust than perhaps any other person. He kept a scrapbook of all of the names of the children that he saved. On this powerful program, they brought together as many of the children who were brought to England by this saint of a man.
How many people can say they saved anybody’s life – let alone hundreds of lives of children. At each juncture in one’s life, one needs to make a decision as to whether or not they will endanger their own welfare for the good of others. Most people would just shy away from placing themselves in danger even if that means saving the lives of others. But Sir Nicholas Winton passed the test with flying colors and influenced the lives of tens of thousands.
The Nazi Threat to Children in World War II
In Eastern Europe, there were around 9 million Jews at the dawn of World War II. Less than 6 years later, that number would be less than 3 million. Between September 1939 and May 1945, between 1.5-2 million children were killed by the Nazis. Most of the Jewish children did not live in Germany. They lived in Poland, Czechoslovakia, France Hungary, Rumania, Greece, and other countries that Germany occupied. But the Nazis made part of their policy to kill as many Jews as possible in every area that they occupied. Children, the infirm, and the elderly, had no function for the Nazis. Often, they were killed on the spot or taken to death camps and killed there.
For countries like Poland, there was little warning. The Nazi blitzkrieg came in so fast and furiously that very few managed to get out. But in some countries like France, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary, there was some time to make some bold plans to rescue as many people as possible. To get to the Land of Israel was nearly impossible. The closest haven was Great Britain. It was across the English Channel, but it wasn’t a continent away. Some of the most successful schemes to save people included England. Even before the invasion of Poland, a transport of German Jewish teenagers was sent to England – just in the nick of time. Most of them survived the war.
Nicholas Winton was one of those rare people who brought hundreds of children to safety.