Sir Nicholas Winton: Humanitarian and hero

He was a shining light during a dark time: on the eve of the Second World War, Sir Nicholas Winton saved 669 children, most of them Jewish, in what was then known as Czechoslovakia. These children were destined for Nazi concentration camps.  

The BBC came across this unbelievable story in 1988 and wanted to honor the humble hero. 

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They invited Sir Nicholas Winton into a studio and placed him in the first row of the audience. The seat next to him was reserved for very special person.

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During their research, producers found a list of people who had been smuggled out of Czechoslovakia and saved from certain death. One of these people, a child at the time, was asked to sit next to her rescuer. 

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The woman's name was Vera Diamant, pictured here as a child. She owed her life to Sir Nicholas Winton.

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Tears of joy ran down the faces of both, once Vera's identity was revealed. But that was only the beginning of the evening's emotions. 

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As the camera drew back, showing the audience in full frame, the presenter asked everyone whose life had been saved by Nicholas Winton to stand up.

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Several people stood up and applauded. The man in the middle, Sir Nicholas Winton, was completely overwhelmed.

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Sir Nicholas Winton certainly was not expecting this. Over the years, the memory of the individual events had faded, but everything came rushing back. 

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Here is part of the broadcast:

This man saved almost 700 people. Over 70 years after the end of World War II, this story reminds us that even during the darkest times, there are people willing to risk everything for what they believe is right. This man's monumental actions will never be forgotten. 

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