New Film Spotlights Briton Who Saved Jewish Children During Holocaust

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PRAGUE - A film about a Briton who organized mass evacuations of children to save them from being sent to their deaths in Nazi concentration camps had its world premiere in Prague last night.

Sir Nicholas Winton arranged eight trains to carry 669 children, most of them Jewish, from Czechoslovakia through Germany to Britain at the outbreak of World War II in 1939. Winton, now 101, attended the premiere and received a standing ovation.

Producer Patrik Pass, center left, greets some of the holocaust survivors saved by Sir Nicholas Winton who had organized the rescue of 669 mainly Jewish children by train from Prague in 1939.Credit: AP

The youngsters were sent to foster parents - mostly in England, a small number in Sweden.

"Nicky's Family," by Slovak director Matej Minac combines a feature movie and a documentary to provide details of the operation and tell about the rescued children. It also focuses on young people who decided to follow his example and help those in need around the globe.

Winton said of the film: "I hope it's fascinating for young people because it gives an indication to the future. I don't think it helps looking back to the past."

Winton's story did not emerge until 1988, when his wife found correspondence referring to the prewar events.

In 2002, British Prime Minister Tony Blair praised him as Britain's Schindler, after German businessman Oskar Schindler, who also saved Jewish lives during the war.