Hero who saved hundreds attends documentary screening

Hero who saved hundreds attends documentary screening

Reporter:

Francis Batt

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Hero who saved hundreds attends documentary screening

A screening of the documentary charting the role of a hero who saved hundreds of children from the Nazi death camps was attended by the man himself.

Home Secretary Theresa May with Sir Nicholas Winton


Sir Nicholas Winton was guest of honour at Norden Farm Centre for the Arts in Altwood Road on Saturday where the documentary film Nicky's Family was shown.

The award-winning feature showed how Sir Nicky rescued 669 children from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War by organising trains and finding them homes in Britain.

Most of the children were Jewish and would have been rounded up to face almost certain death in Nazi camps.

Sir Nicholas, now 104, had lost none of his mischievous wit when he answered questions at the weekend.

He has always been famously reticent about what he did and laughingly told the audience he has never been comfortable with the 'modest hero' label given to him by many.

"I don't glow or anything," he joked.

"I'm just glad to have done something to help."

A shot from the documentary Nicky's Children

Sir Nicky's mission to save the children only become widely known after the story was featured on That's Life in 1988.

In Nicky's Family, Sir Nicholas said it was never his intention to keep what he achieved secret but it was soon overtaken by his wartime role.

He was in the Red Cross from 1940-42, then served with the RAF as flight trainer.

Maidenhead MP and Home Secretary Theresa May was among the audience at Norden Farm on Saturday.

She introduced the showing of the film, saying: "It is particularly important during Holocaust Memorial Week to remember man's inhumanity to man.

"What we are seeing tonight is that there are good men and what can be achieved when good men don't just stand by."

Sir Nicholas (centre) during his time with the Red Cross

 

After the film Sir Nicky, who lives in Pinkneys Green and is known as the 'British Schindler', was joined on stage by Maidenhead's rabbi Doctor Jonathan Romain, for a question and answer session - as well as John Fieldsend, one of Sir Nicky's 'rescue children'.

Mr Fieldsend, a retired clergyman now 81, said he only found out about the man who saved his life when a friend recognised a picture of him as a child on the famous That's Life programme that first revealed Sir Nicky's great work in 1988.

The last word on Saturday came from Sir Nicky himself.

He said: "The world today seems to be in greater tumult than it was in 1939.

"We have a lot to learn but I can't say the world has learned very much."

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