How Were 669 Children Saved from the Holocaust Thanks to One English Man?

Nicholas Winton was a young stockbroker in London. Jews were under threat in Nazi-Occupied Europe and violence against Jewish buildings and business was increasing.

He headed to Prague and hatched a plan that saved the lives of hundreds of children in the months before the outbreak of World War II.

Nicholas was a socialist with an interest in international affairs and links with many Labour politicians; being born in 1909 and raised in an English family he was provided with a particular insight into what was happening in Europe and what the Nazi regime might be capable of.

In December 1938 he travelled to Prague with his friend on behalf of the British Committee for Refugees from Czechoslovakia, and there Winton saw for himself the full scale of the problem facing Jews in German-Occupied Sudetenland. He was struck by the appalling conditions and his greatest concern was for the children.

As a British citizen with contacts, Winton was convinced he could arrange the evacuation of young refugees to England. He and his colleagues Martin Blake and Doreen Warriner set up a makeshift headquarters in a hotel in Prague and began taking the names of families who wished to send their children to safety.

The British Government was only willing to let Vulnerable children entered the country if strict conditions were met. Winton had to arrange a foster family for every refugee who left  Czechoslovakia, in most cases, he has to persuade complete strangers to take the children in.

Fortunately, the British Government had already begun plans to evacuate British children from the city centre in the event of war. That’s how Nicholas Winton was capable of saving 669 Children from the Holocaust in 1939.