Wednesday, July 1, marked the passing of a WWII era hero by any sense of the word, Sir Nicholas Winton. He was working as a stockbroker in Britain in 1938 when he learned about the plight of refugee families in Prague fleeing from German oppression and neighboring European countries wouldn’t take them in.
This man took it upon himself to help with getting the children of the families relocated to safety, and wasn’t afraid to break a few rules to do it.
He could have just reported the situation to the British authorities and hope they would take care of it, but he chose to become directly involved to make sure help would be coming. That a civilian living a comfortable life would go to such lengths to help strangers is a testimony to what we should all aspire to be like.
It’s also a condemnation on both international government and charity bureaucracies who could have done so much more but took no action on their own.
Feeling the weight of this story and the scope of his actions triggers an emotional response from me…that there are humans that show the depth of their love/compassion to do something like this. What’s more, this man is so modest and shared his story with so few, that it took decades for what he did to become widely known.
His actions were responsible for saving 669 children before the outbreak of WWII. He lived to be 106.
60 Minutes link to story (made when he was 104): http://www.cbsnews.com/news/proof-that-one-person-can-make-a-difference/