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Teaching the Holocaust with Primary Sources

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Nicholas Winton

holocaustNicholas Winton lived in England and worked as a stockbroker. At a friend's request in 1938, Winton visited Prague, Czechoslovakia. Upon arrival he was shocked by the number of refugees in danger from a Nazi invasion. He noticed that little attention was paid to the safety of children. Winton had heard of the Kindertransport which brought German and Austrian Jewish children to Great Britain to escape the atrocities happening in their home countries. 24 Winton worked to accomplish the same goal of rescuing children and began taking applications to transport children out of Czechoslovakia. Soon thousands of parents came to Winton's office seeking safety for their sons and daughters.

With the system established in Prague, Winton returned to London to begin the daunting task of securing the children's transfer. He located foster families who were willing to take children, not knowing when or if their families would survive the war and reclaim them. Funds were needed for each child's transportation and the British government required a 50-pound per-child deposit to ensure their return to home countries. Despite the obstacles, Winton continued to organize and raise funds while keeping his job as a stockbroker.

The time finally arrived for the first transport to leave Prague on March 14, 1939.24 Winton organized seven more transports, the last taking place on August 2, 1939.24 The largest transport, 250 children, was scheduled to leave Prague on September 3, 1939, the day England entered the war.25 The train disappeared and none of the children were seen again.25 Through Nicholas Winton's efforts 669 children survived the Holocaust.24 Without his efforts these children would have faced certain death.


24. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Nicholas Winton and the
     Rescue of Children from Czechoslovakia, 1938-1939
, Accessed 8.9.12.

25. The Jewish Virtual Library, Nicholas Winton, (1909-), Accessed 8.10.12

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