From today’s Telegraph:
Seventy years ago they rode in silence, travelling on trains from Prague not knowing if they would ever see their parents and siblings again.
None of them did.
But by virtue of the foresight, humanity and sheer bloody-mindedness of a young British stockbroking clerk called Nicholas Winton, 669 Jewish children were saved from the clutches of the Nazis.
On Friday, 22 of them were reunited with their 100-year-old saviour – now Sir Nicholas –who has come to be known as the ‘British Schindler’.
A steam engine specially requisitioned to re-enact the last stage of their journey pulled into the very same platform at Liverpool Station in London, where as virtual orphans they had disembarked in 1939.
The emotional ceremony marked what is likely to be the final chapter in the odyssey begun by Sir Nicholas as a 29-year-old.
He was packing to go skiing just before Christmas in 1938 when he received a call from a friend working in a refugee camp in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia.
“Cancel your holiday,” said the friend, Martin Blake. “I need you in Prague. Don’t bring your skis.” …
Sir Nicholas, who was knighted in 2002, stepped off the Peppercorn A1 Pacific class steam engine on Friday morning to loud applause from those he had saved, now grey-haired, and their families.
The train had travelled from Harwich in Essex, containing 22 evacuees about 150 other passengers, on the last leg of the 800 mile journey from Prague.
Each survivor was given a moment to talk to Sir Nicholas.
Speaking to the crowd, Sir Nicholas, from Maidenhead, Berks, joked: “This is much harder work that it was 70 years ago.
Read the rest, and don’t miss the ending, here.
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