The film, Nicky's Story is a 2013 Czech documentary directed by Matej Minac that recounts a story that began in 1938 Czechoslovakia.
The following quotes from the film tell their own story - one of savagery and loss, of courage and humility. The man was Sir Nicholas Winton. The children from Prague were put on a train, never to see their families again.
You could feel the danger getting closer and closer.
What made a 29-year-old Englishman do such a thing?
I was moved to at least try to save the children.
Winton was a London stockbroker, single and with the means to enjoy a comfortable life. When a friend cancelled their ski trip, Nicholas (Nicky) joined him in Prague, Czechoslovakia. He felt the tension, saw the fear in people's eyes as German soldiers made their presence known. In some neighborhoods people were being separated with jewish people among the first to be loaded onto large trucks.
A woman came to see Nicky at his hotel room when she learned he was British. She implored him to help her get her child out of the country before something terrible happened. Nicky felt compelled to help her, and as word spread, young Nicholas Winton became inundated by worried parents asking for help in getting their children out. He would try.
Nicky wrote letters to anyone who would listen, even presidents and kings. No one wanted to risk conflict with Hitler so only one country agreed to help. England. He started a list of every child in need and refused to give up even when fronted by beaurocracy. He had to figure out how to get the children out of Czechoslovakia; how to expedite the process of getting them into England; he needed to find the money to make this plan a reality, and he needed to find families that would care for the children until the crisis ended.
"We'll have to let them go." "We can't come with you."
All along the platform there were mothers clinging to their crying children, promising they would be together soon, knowing the kind of danger they were in. Hands tore apart when the train jerked then picked up speed. It was a long journey. They did not understand the sacrifice their parents made as the tanks rolled into Prague behind them and Hitler shouted out to the crowd.
They did not know their lives would be forever changed by a stranger's act of kindness. One man sent out a ripple that no one could have predicted. He is now 104 years old.
"I was three years old. Nobody came."
"I was left sitting there." "You shall be loved."
"The poorer they were, the kinder they were."
"The last letter from my father came in 1942. He said they were packing up to go somewhere."
"We heard about the work camps and hoped our families were okay."
"Then the letters stopped."
"We had to keep living to overcome the past."
"When you're young you take everything, including survival, for granted."
" "We're the same."
The letter "N." Sir Nicholas Winton
Thanks for stopping by and spending a few minutes today. If you'd like to learn more about this remarkable story, the following links will help.
You can find the video, "Nicky's Story" on Netflix, or you can rent or purchase it from Amazon.
tags: the holocaust; death camps; Hitler invades; Nazi Germany; Kindertransport; inspiring story; the man who saved Jewish children from Prague; a 50-year secret; survivors reunited; Winton knighted by HRH Queen Elisabeth;