Winton, Sir Nicholas George

Winton, Sir Nicholas George, 1909–2015, British stockbroker who saved the lives of several hundred Czech children on the eve of World War II, b. London as Nicholas George Wertheim (later Wortham); his emigré German Jewish family adopted the name Winton in the 1930s. After a banking career in Germany and France, he became a broker at the London Stock Exchange. In late 1938 he joined a friend who was helping refugees in Czechoslovakia, which Nazi Germany was progressively occupying. Returning to England (1939), he enlisted help from the Refugee Children's Movement, appealed for funds, and found foster homes for the children. Using bribes and at times forged papers, he with Trevor Chadwick, Doreen Warriner, and others back in Prague successfully transported (Mar.–Aug., 1939) 669 children to England before Germany invaded Poland and the borders were closed. Winton was an air force officer during the war and later worked for several humanitarian organizations. His rescue efforts remained unknown until the 1980s, when his wife discovered documents relating to his efforts. Winton was knighted for in 2003.

See studies by V. Gissing and M. Emanuel (2001) and M. Minác (2007); documentaries The Power of Good: Nicholas Winton (2002) and Nicky's Family (2011).

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