A True Hero, Nicholas Winton, Celebrates His Birthday
You can have your athletes, your politicians and your actors, for today a true hero turns 105, and I would like to take a moment to thank him and to tell his story.
Many members of my family were from the region of the world Nicholas Winton found himself in back in 1938. Winton headed an operation to save Jewish Children in Czecholovakia during the Holocaust. After the war, Winton did not speak about his incredible efforts, instead living a quiet life, living in guilt and shame over the loss of children he wasn't able to save. He never spoke of the hundreds whose lives he rescued after the war, instead he was haunted by those he couldn't reach.
For 50 years, no one knew of Nicholas Wiston's heroics, until his wife discovered a scrapbook detailing her husband's efforts, a list of names of those he had saved, and journals documenting his rescues. She convinced him to go public with his story, which led her husband being knighted by Queen Elisabeth II. It also led to his appearing on the BBC series "That's Life."
But there was a surprise in store for Nicholas Winton. While appearing on the show, the host revealed that the program had invited 80 other "special guests" for the taping. Unbeknownst to him, Winston was surrounded by 80 of the children, now adults, that he had saved in Czechoslovakia during the Holocaust. Watch as Winston receives the tribute he truly deserves.
Martin Niemoller wrote
"First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out -- Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out -- Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out -- Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me -- and there was no one left to speak for me."
Thank you Nicholas Winton for acting for those who could not speak for themselves. Join me in wishing Sir Nicholas a very happy 105th birthday.