Amongst the recent furore about far right violence in Charlottesville, USA involving Neo-Nazis, KKK and White Supremacists, comes a story so compelling that it restores your faith in human nature – that there are good people in this world who do good things.
I’m talking about the remarkable story of Sir Nicholas Winton, son of a British banker, who during World War II organised the evacuation of 669 Jewish children destined for Nazi concentration camps, from German occupied Czechoslovakia.
One Man Can Make a Difference-How one Englishman saved 669 Jews from the Holocaust
Nazi anti-Semitism had reached boiling point on 9 November 1938. Throughout German occupied territory, including Czechoslovakia, a wave of violent protest broke out against the Jews. Synagogues were burned, businesses attacked and windows smashed in what became known as Kristallnacht – the ‘Night of Broken Glass’.
Kristallnacht set warning bells ringing. As a result, Britain agreed to open its borders to refugee Jewish children.
Sir Nicholas, a Jewish stockbroker, knowing time was running out for Jewish families, made arrangements for trains to carry Jewish children out of occupied Prague to England, fighting bureaucrats every step of the way.
How did he do it? He placed adverts in newspapers and organised foster families for Jewish children in Britain. He rescued 669 mostly Jewish children who traveled on eight trains, known as Kindertransport, across four countries. From Prague / Bohemia they travelled through Sudetenland, (annexed by Nazi Germany), then through Germany itself (no doubt a perilous passage) and then escape from the Hook of Holland to Harwich, then to London. Sir Nicholas and his team fought British custom officials to allow all the children in despite their incomplete documents. Many of the parents were to perish in Auschwitz concentration camp. The last batch of 250 children never left Prague as the war had just started. Only two survived.
Unknown Hero. He met his wife Grete in 1948, but remarkably never told her about his wartime heroics. In fact nobody knew about his unheralded acts of courage until she found some diaries in the loft some fifty years on listing all the Jewish children that were rescued.
He was made an MBE and knighted by the Queen in 2003 and became known as the British Schindler.
His son Nick said of his father’s brave legacy: “It is about encouraging people to make a difference and not waiting for something to be done or waiting for someone else to do it.”
My book Dominion First Blood, although a work of fiction, stands as a warning against Nazi ideology and all it stands for. In my story, Professor Picard is a young Jewish boy who flees Nazi Germany with his parents to occupied France – narrowly escaping death. While his parents join the French Resistance he hides in the loft reading books. Back to the modern day, Earth is invaded by desperate aliens who have adopted the Nazi ideology. Mankind seems doomed but one man stands alone to fight the alien menace.
Our hero, Bulletproof Pete is helped by childhood friend Vinnie and Lucia, a sexy vampire. What can possibly go wrong?
CHECK OUT THE VIDEO TRAILER for DOMINION FIRST BLOOD
|HERO Out now on paperback and kindle