'British Schindler' broadcasts live to Prague ahead of 105th birthday

'British Schindler' broadcasts live to Prague ahead of 105th birthday

Katherine Denham

'British Schindler' broadcasts live to Prague ahead of 105th birthday

'Rescued children' who escaped The Holocaust gathered at a celebratory event in Prague to speak via a live broadcast to the man who saved their lives.

Sir Nicholas Winton is known as 'The British Schindler' after saving more than 600 Jewish children’s lives by smuggling them safely out of Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia in 1939, just before the start of the Second World War.

He was 29 when he orchestrated the mission. Without his intervention they would have been sent to concentration camps.

Now living in Pinkneys Green, Sir Nicholas attended Norden Farm Centre for the Arts in Altwood Road to answer questions from Prague which were posed to him by journalist Joe Schlesinger, who was himself one of 'The Winton Children'.

It was held to mark his forthcoming 105th birthday, which is on Monday.

Members of the Maidenhead Rotary Club and Maidenhead Synagogue were invited to the venue in Maidenhead, while 400 CEOs gathered at Municipal House in Prague for the educational event on Thursday, May 8.

The event was hosted by the Young Presidents’ Organisation (YPO), of which William Lobkowicz, a descendant of the Czech noble family, is a member.

It was aimed to educate business leaders, giving them a chance to think about positive ways of using their money and position.

Both audiences watched a 20 minute film clip about the rescue efforts, before listening to Sir Winton answer questions about the financial, romantic and practical details of the 'Kindertransport' mission.

The event also saw Mr Schlesinger, who lives in the United States and whose old age means he is on his last trip around Europe, join together with other rescued children in Prague for his final reunion.

He said: "Nicky is very much a father figure to me, after all he gave me life for a second time.

"To say that I will be forever grateful to him is an understatement. There are not many like him in this world."

A birthday cake in the shape of a train that read 'Nicky's Children' was brought out in Prague and the two audiences sang Happy Birthday to him.

Mr Schlesinger will personally take a piece of the cake to Sir Winton's home when he visits him for the final time.

Barbara Winton’s book about her father 'If It's Not Impossible...' will be launched on Monday.

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