The man often referred to as the ”British Schindler” after helping hundreds of Jews escape Nazi Germany was honoured by the President of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland, Allan Jagger at a conference in Blackpool on Saturday.
Sir Nicholas Winton, 98, helped 700 Jewish children escape from the Nazis before the war by organising trains from Prague to London. He was accompanied at the conference by Lady Milena Grenfell Baines who was one of the children he saved. Sir Nicholas has been a member of the Rotary Club of Maidenhead for more than forty years and has worked tirelessly for many community projects including Maidenhead Mencap and the Abbeyfield Society.
Allan Jagger said ”You are clearly a very passionate Rotarian, and throughout your life have embodied the principles of Rotary, and always in a very modest way. Your work with Rotary and your community work has been recognised locally, nationally and internationally. On behalf of Rotarians in Great Britain and Ireland I am delighted to give you the Rotary President’s Award for Outstanding Humanitarian Service together with a Sapphire Paul Harris Fellow Award.
Nicholas Winton, a former Stock Exchange clerk from Maidenhead, Berkshire, was knighted in 2002 and has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize by the Czech Government.
There are believed to be more than 5,000 ”Winton children” descended from the 670 children he helped escape Prague for Britain in 1939. His heroics earned him the nickname ”Britain’s Schindler” – a reference to German Oskar Schindler, who saved more than 1,000 Jews.
His efforts were unknown even to his wife who only discovered what happened 50 years later when she found an old leather briefcase in the attic containing lists of children and letters from their parents.