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A toast, and birthday greetings, to a remarkable 105 year old

There are few men like Sir Nicholas Winton - now celebrating his 105th birthday.    But it is not only his age worthy of celebration, but his deeds - for there is no other word for it - in Prague in September 1939.     Read on in this piece from the The Guardian.

"It could almost be a normal birthday party, with music, presents and a cake. But the cake has 105 candles and many of the 100 or so guests who are here to celebrate the birthday of Sir Nicholas Winton owe him their life.

Winton's 105th birthday party is at the Czech embassy in London, and the guests here are the offspring of 669 children - mostly Jewish - rescued by Winton from almost certain death in the months before the second world war broke out in 1939. Most of their families ended up interned and murdered in Nazi concentration camps. Today they call themselves "Nicky's children".

There are around 6,000 people around the world today who owe Winton their lives. It was late in December 1938 when the stockbroker from Hampstead cancelled a holiday to go to Prague to see what was happening to refugees there. Winton spent only three weeks in the city - the most leave he could get from his job at home - but it was enough time for him to recognise the impending threat facing the refugees who had arrived following the Nazi invasion of the Czech Sudentenland in October 1938.

He immediately set about organising eight evacuations of the children on the Kindertransport train. He advertised in newspapers for foster homes, got the necessary permits from the immigration office in the UK, and persuaded the Germans to let the children leave the country. When Winton returned to his job in London on 21 January 1939 he continued the rescue mission, working in the evenings until the last train was cancelled when war broke out in September 1939."


Continue reading here.

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