Nicholas Winton has died at the age of 106. He was known as the British Oscar Schindler for his efforts to save Jews during the Holocaust. He saved more than 650 Jews from being murdered by the Germans.
The Rotary Club of Maidenhead in England stated, “It is with much sadness I have to report that Sir Nicky Winton died peacefully early this morning. Nicky’s daughter Barbara and two grandchildren were with him when he died and Barbara said that he was aware of their presence.”
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The London Stockbroker was only 29 when he went to German occupied Czechoslovakia in 1939. There he arranged for eight trains to take 669 children — mostly Jews — out of the country which had been occupied by Germany and on to England. A ninth train was arranged, but it did not leave before England formally declared war on Germany and the 250 children it was supposed to save all perished.
Winton risked his own life and bribed countless German officials while in Czechoslovakia in order to get the needed permits for the children to be allowed to emigrate. He then served in the Royal Air Force during the war.
He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2003.
His daughter Barbara stated, “He believed that if there was something that needed to be done you should do it. Let’s not spend too long agonizing about stuff. Let’s get it done.”
British Prime Minister David Cameron said “the world has lost a great man.”
Jonathan Sacks, Britain’s former chief rabbi, said Winton “was a giant of moral courage and determination, and he will be mourned by Jewish people around the world.”