The Good Child Trafficker
The British businessman whose wartime actions saved hundreds of children from the Nazis has been honoured with the Czech Republic’s highest award.
Sir Nicholas Winton, who is 105, set up a network which enabled hundreds of children to move from central Europe to a new life in the UK.
His actions earned him the Czech Republic’s White Lion honour which he received at a ceremony in Prague.
He told the crowd: “I am delighted that so many of the children are still about and are here to thank me.”
BBC News Website 28 October 2014 : ‘British Schindler’ Sir Nicholas Winton receives honour in Prague
Not all people traffickers are to be condemned.
In accepting the honour he said:
“I thank the British people for making room for them, to accept them, and of course the enormous help given by so many of the Czechs who were at that time doing what they could to fight the Germans and to try to get the children out..”
Nicholas Winton was a young, left-leaning stockbroker in 1938, when a friend cancelled their planned skiing holiday in Switzerland and invited him to Prague instead.
He found himself visiting camps for refugees from the Sudetenland, an area under Nazi occupation.
British activists were already in Czechoslovakia trying to help them, but Mr Winton’s brainwave was to rescue the children by finding families in the UK to give them a home.
Being from a German Jewish family – his mother’s family were all in Germany at the time – he was well aware that Hitler was dangerous and that the situation was urgent.
On his return to London he started looking for families to host the Czech children, and got the Home Office to agree to let them in.”
BBC Website 28 August 2009 : Profile: Nicholas Winton
All the people he trafficked were a drain on British Society at a time when it was already under strain.
Do we now have the sort of political leadership that would be brave enough to “let them in” and do we have the sort of society that would then take these children into our homes?