Moscow, July 2, Interfax – Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar on behalf of the country’s Jewish community expresses his condolences to Sir Nicholas Winton’s family, who saved 669 Jewish children during the years of war.
“In the tragic Holocaust years there were many people who risked their freedom and even life to save Jews from inevitable elimination on the territories captured by Nazi. But Sir Nicholas’ heroism is distinguished even among these righteous people. To save hundreds of children aged from two to sixteen, to organize their escape from occupied Czechoslovakia through Germany, to take them to Netherland, then to England by sea, and eventually find foster families for all children – I do not know another man, who also managed to do such things,” his letter of condolences reads.
Lazar points out to Winton’s “surprising modesty” as he kept his heroic deed in secret almost half a century: journalists discovered story of the saved children without making him know only in late 1980s and it became known to wide public only in 1990s.
Head of the Federation of the Jewish Communities of Russia Alexander Boroda calls Winton “pride and decoration of all humanity.”
“Sir Winton with all his life proved that sincere attitude can help triumph ideals of good and humanity in most inhuman and violent epoch,” Boroda says.
Winton died in London this Wednesday on his 107th year. He was decorated as a hero by a special resolution of the US Congress and was granted a title of knight of the British Empire. Thanks to the operation arranged by him to save Jewish children from occupied Czechoslovakia over six thousands of children live on Earth today: the saved children, their children, grandchildren and great grand children.