Theresa pays tribute to Sir Nicholas Winton
- Jul 1, 2015
Theresa May has paid tribute to Maidenhead resident Sir Nicholas Winton, who has died at the age of 106. Sir Nicholas was dubbed the “British Schindler” for his work rescuing hundreds of Jewish children, destined for concentration camps, out of Czechoslovakia in 1939. Theresa said: “Sir Nicholas Winton was a hero of the 20th century.”
She continued: “Against the odds, he almost single-handedly rescued hundreds of children, mostly Jewish, from the Nazis – an enduring example of the difference that good people can make even in the darkest of times. Because of his modesty, this astonishing contribution only came to light many years later. So many people owe their lives to Nicholas and it was fitting that, in his later years, he finally received the recognition he deserved. Maidenhead is rightly proud of all that he did, and we must ensure that his legacy lives on by continuing to tackle anti-Semitism and discrimination wherever it arises.”
Realising the danger that the imminent Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia posed, Sir Nicholas worked to find British families willing to put up £50 to rescue the children and look after them until they were 17. He arranged trains to take the children out of occupied Czechoslovakia and for foster families to meet them in London.
He was knighted by the Queen in 2003, and in 2014 was given the Order of the White Lion by the Czech President. A statue of Sir Nicholas was unveiled at Maidenhead Station in 2010.