Recognizing a Hero of World War II

While browsing through my photos I stumbled on a picture that I had taken in Prague and had to share the story behind the statue in the picture.

The visit to Terezin concluded at the major train station in Prague in front of this statue of a man with two children. Judging by the looks alone the statue was very moving. The Tour Guide concluded the tour with the story behind the statue. Turns out it was inspired by Nicholas Winton who rescued 669 children from Czechoslovakia which was at the time occupied by German Nazis. Winton was able to remove these children from the risk of being sent to concentration camps, persecution or death. They were transported to Great Britain which had approved a measure that would allow refugees under the age of 17 to enter Britain as long as they had a place to stay and a warranty of £50 was deposited to pay for the return to their home country. The challenge was getting the children pass the Netherlands which has closed its border to Jewish refugees by this point. However, due to coordination with a Dutch woman the transports were successful. Unfortunately, the last transport was not successful because Poland was invaded and the train was sent back. Inevitably, most of the parents ended up dying at Auschwitz.

Even though Winton was fairly quiet about his work, his wife found a scrapbook that he kept which detailed the children. A decent amount of the children were located and reunited with him during a tv show in which they acknowledged him for saving their life. The transport was later called the Kindertransport, he was knighted Sir Winton and the statue of him with the children was erected in Prague. 

Statue at the main station in Prague

Statue at the main station in Prague

This story was truly amazing and inspirational. Too often we hear about the perpetrators and not enough about the heroes like Sir Winton. 

 

 

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