Children saved by ‘British Schindler’ dedicate Prague memorial to their parents

(JTA) — A group of children saved from the Nazis by Sir Nicholas Winton, known as the “British Schindler,” unveiled a monument in Prague to their parents.

The monument, called the Farewell Memorial, is comprised of a replica of a train door from 1939, with the imprints of hands of children on one side and of parents on the other, The Associated Press reported. The memorial was dedicated at Prague’s main train station on Saturday.

Most of the children saved by Winton, who arrived in Britain on the Kindertransport and were taken in by British foster families, never saw their parents again.

Winton died in 2015 at the age of 106.

Winton, the baptized son of Jewish parents, was a 29-year-old stockbroker when he arrived in Prague in December 1938. He was planning to go on a skiing holiday in Switzerland, but changed his plans when he heard about the refugee crisis in Czechoslovakia, which had just been occupied by the Nazis. In the following nine months he organized eight trains that carried 669 children, the vast majority of them Jewish, from Czechoslovakia to safety in Britain.

Winton’s heroism was unremarked until the 1980s, when his wife found evidence of the rescues. The discovery led to a reunion with some of the children and a documentary.

Winton received many honors in his later years, including the knighthood. Last year the Czech government flew him to Prague, where Czech President Miloš Zeman awarded him the Order of the White Lion.

The Schindler reference is to the German industrialist Oskar Schindler, who is credited with saving some 1,200 Jews in the Holocaust. His story was made into an Academy Award-winning film, “Schindler’s List.”

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