Kurt Taussig is one of the 669 Czech Jewish children who were saved from the Holocaust by Sir Nicholas Winton on the eve of the Second World War. The 95-year-old man, who went on to join the RAF as a fighter pilot, has since lived in Great Britain and, until recently, was unknown to Czech historians. Now, more than 75 years after he left his country, he was granted honorary citizenship in his birth-town of Teplice.
A new Czech Television documentary, Barbican: Forgotten Mission, tells the previously unknown story of how around 100 Jewish children were air-bridged to the UK from Prague in early 1939. The organisers were a Christian group focused on converting Jews and their actions predated the well-known kindertransports run by Sir Nicholas Winton, though he was involved. The film’s director Jiří František Potužník says the story began with an archive photo of a small boy and a pilot.
Today a life peer in Britain’s House of Lords, Alfred Dubs was just six years old when he became one of over 660 Jewish children saved from Nazi-occupied Prague by Sir Nicholas Winton. The Labour politician last year made headlines for attaching an amendment to an immigration bill that offered unaccompanied refugee children safe passage to Britain, though the UK authorities later largely abandoned the scheme. When we spoke recently in London, I asked Lord Dubs – now 85 – about his own beginnings in the UK and attitudes to refugees today. But we
A new waiting room named after the late Sir Nicholas Winton has been opened at Prague’s Main Train Station. Four of the so-called Winton Children attended Tuesday’s opening ceremony. The then diplomat saved 669 Czech Jewish children from the Holocaust by getting them permits to travel to the UK on a number of trains that left from the same station.
Some of the children who were saved from the Holocaust by Nicolas Winton have unveiled a memorial recognizing their parent’s incredible bravery in putting them on “kindertransport’ trains to London in the knowledge they might never see them again. Close to 700 mostly Jewish children were sent away at the eleventh hour in the spring and summer of 1939, after Nazi Germany invaded Czechoslovakia. Most of their parents later died in gas chambers. The memorial, at Prague’s main railway station from where the trains were dispatched, is a replica of one of the original train wagon doors filled with a glass pane on which are engraved adult and child hands evoking scenes of the traumatic parting. Zuzana Maresova, one of the surviving Winton children who came up with the idea of erecting the memorial, says the scene at the railway station is one of her most vivid childhood memories.
Slovak Director Matěj Mináč, along with producer Patrik Pašš, are set to receive the Raoul Wallenberg Award for keeping alive the memory of Sir Nicholas Winton, the British man who helped to save 669 mostly Jewish Czechoslovak children from the Holocaust. The award is bestowed by the Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, named after the Swedish diplomat who saved thousands of Hungarian Jews during WWII. The award-giving ceremony will take place in Prague on March 14. Matěj Mináč has produced three films about Sir Nicholas Winton, a feature film called All My Loved Ones and two documentaries, The Power of Good: Nicholas Winton and Nicky’s Family.
There are plans to build a memorial dedicated to the parents of the so-called Winton children, who escaped death in Nazi gas chambers when they were sent abroad from Czechoslovakia shortly before the outbreak of WWII. A group of surviving “Winton children” want to pay tribute to their parents, who had the courage to let them go in order to save their lives. The memorial is to be situated at Prague’s Main Railway Station, close to a statue of Sir Nicholas Winton, who organised the transports of 669, mostly Jewish children.
A public fund has been set up to raise money for a memorial to the parents of the so-called Winton children, whose lives were saved when they were sent abroad from Czechoslovakia to escape almost certain death under the Nazis. The charity fund has been set up by a group of “Winton children” who are hoping to reach a target amount of 2.3 million crowns. The memorial, a bronze copy of a train door with glass casts of parents’ hands on the one side and children’s hands on the other, is to be erected at Prague’s main railway station. A statue to Sir Nicholas Winton, who organised the transports of 669, mostly Jewish children, ahead of WWII, already stands at the station.