this evening (wednesday 27th), 10.45-11.45pm, on bbc 1 children saved from the nazis: the story of sir nicholas winton (presented by gavin esler)
“It is 1939 and Europe is on the brink of war. Hitler has invaded Czechoslovakia, threatening the lives of the Jewish population. Nicholas Winton, a young British stockbroker, decides he will do everything possible to save the lives of as many Jewish children as he can. This film, transmitting on Holocaust Memorial Day, tells the extraordinary story of how Nicholas Winton rescued 669 children from the clutches of the Nazis, bringing them by train to Britain.
In order to provide a degree of credibility with both the British and Nazi governments of the day, Nicholas single-handedly established the British Committee for Refugees from Czechoslovakia – Children’s Section, using it to obtain passports and visas for the children. He then organised for each child to be adopted by families throughout the country and their safe passage across Europe and into Britain.
For nearly fifty years, Nicholas told no-one of his heroic deeds. His incredible story might never have come to light were it not for his wife who, fifty years later, found a suitcase in the attic containing a remarkable scrapbook full of documents and transport plans.
The story then emerged in 1988 when the BBC’s That’s Life programme reunited over two dozen of his ‘children’ with their rescuer for the first time in a highly emotional broadcast.
Featuring Nicholas’s final film interview before his death last year aged 106, dramatic reconstruction of events and the testimonies of the rescued children.”