Nicholas Winton: The Man Who Saved 669 Children

Nicholas WintonI love the story of Sir Nicholas George Winton.

Nicholas Winton organized the rescue of 669 mostly Jewish children from German-occupied Czechoslovakia on the eve of the Second World War. He found homes for them and arranged for their safe passage to Britain.

Then there's this little nugget:

Winton kept his humanitarian exploits under wraps for many years until his wife Grete found a detailed scrapbook in the attic in 1988. The scrapbook contained lists of the children, including their parents' names, and the names and addresses of the families that took them in. After sending letters to these addresses, 80 of "Winton's children" were found in Britain. The world found out about Winton's work in 1988 during an episode of the BBC television programme That's Life! when Winton was invited to be an audience member. At one point during the programme Winton's scrapbook was shown, and his achievements explained. The host of the programme, Esther Rantzen, then asked if there was anyone in the audience who owed their lives to Winton, and, if so, to stand – at which point more than two dozen audience members surrounding Winton rose and applauded.

Here's that amazing footage. You're ordered to watch this minute and 39 seconds.

Nicholas Winton is still with us today and will turn 104 in May.

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Comments (11 - click here to join in!)

Dave Williams

@Mike, a great man who did what he did not for recognition, but for what he felt was right. I recall in the early 90's his story being presented. If you were not touched by his actions, you just are not human.

February 24, 2013 @ 6:29 PM

Mississauga Phil

@ Mike - amazing story, and a great clip.

Is there any particular milestone you're marking with this post? Or is it just something that crossed your mind today?

February 24, 2013 @ 6:52 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

I thought this story was a nice juxtaposition on a night when we hero-worship actors and ask 'who are you wearing?'.

Nicholas Winton is a real hero.

February 24, 2013 @ 6:59 PM

Blind Dave

A true hero and as humble as can be.

Great post, Mike, thank you for the reminder.

February 25, 2013 @ 8:35 AM

Sharon Loudon

Thanks for sharing! It warms my heart knowing there was one person who did so much for humanity and did not seek attention or recognition for his good deeds.

February 25, 2013 @ 10:16 AM

Mike from Lowville

Thanks for reminding me of him Mike. When Schindler's List came out my Mom told me about Winton. Her cousin in Scotland knew one of the many children he saved. Thankfully he had the hind site to do what he did.

February 25, 2013 @ 5:59 PM


Wow - thanks for posting. I had not heard of this gentleman's story. It is amazing what one person can do.

Made me cry this morning, and again tonight when I posted it to my FB wall.

February 25, 2013 @ 6:49 PM


and Obama won nobel prize for what exactly? i heard they are people nominating him sir Winton...i hope he or the little girl shot by taliban win togather

February 26, 2013 @ 8:05 AM

Dave Williams

Dan, the injustice is that Nicholas Winton was not nominated years ago. Why is the girl shot by the Taliban worthy of the Nobel?

February 26, 2013 @ 11:27 AM


Beautiful story.

@Dave Williams Read up on her. She is a very brave lady. She spoke out against the taliban for quiet some time. I have to go to work but I hope you google some more info on her or someone else can post it.

February 26, 2013 @ 2:44 PM

Rick C in Oakville

I had never heard of Winton either. So many humble heroes that have gone unrecognized.

February 26, 2013 @ 9:49 PM

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