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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Thank You , Sir

The beautiful old fellow in the centre is Nicholas Winton and he is 100 years old . This isn't a party recognizing his historic age , but a long-awaited celebration of a real life superhero who is meeting people he saved 70 years back . The immense proportion of his heroism was completely lost on the world until his wife found a scrapbook full of names in the attic , 669 in all , and began writing letters to people to figure out what the book was all about .
Back in December of 1938 , stockbroker Mr . Winton planned a ski vacation to Switzerland but instead took a detour to meet up with a friend in Prague . There he discovered children orphaned and abandoned due to the advancing Nazi pogroms and felt he could save at least some of these kids from extermination . He discovered an exception to the racist refugee laws employed by Britain at the time , raised money , begged people to foster these souls , and arranged for their safe transport to havens in his homeland . Although the last train was sent back , thousands of people today owe their lives to this remarkable , selfless man . There are over 5,000 known descendants of his saved children living in Great Britain alone . Famed director Karel Reisz was one of the kids saved by these refugee transports , as well as super-journalist Joe Schlesinger and Britsh politician Alfred Dubs , yet nobody really mentions Nicholas Winton's epic contributions to humanity with exception of the Czech governmenr , who has championed him for over a decade . He has been honoured in Britain for establishing the Abbeyfield homes for the aged , and was quietly knighted in 2002 amidst zero fanfare . By contrast , the Czech people have bestowed well-deserved honours time and again , as well as nominating him for the Nobel Peace Prize and even naming a PLANET after this amazing man . They even organized the train of survivors to London to meet their hero .
With people bringing up the past in Hollywoodland , this guy never comes up and I'm puzzled as to why , but it's simply possible that a grandiose film could do justice to the humble hero that few people know of .

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