In December 1938, British stockbroker Nicholas Winton canceled a ski vacation and instead traveled to Prague. There, as the German military began its occupation of Czechoslovakia, he worked with friends to save the lives of 669 Jewish children. When he returned to London, Winton raised money to purchase train tickets and passports, and cut through red tape so that the children could be placed in foster care once they reached Great Britain.
According to his daughter’s account, Winton never knew what happened to the children and never believed he’d done something heroic … until 1988, when Winton was invited to sit in the studio audience of the television show That’s Life. On air, he learned that the people sitting around him were children he had saved, along with their children and grandchildren.
This January, a new biopic of Winton’s efforts, titled One Life, will hit theaters, starring Anthony Hopkins. His story is a powerful reminder that faithfulness, not heroics, can change the destinies of thousands.
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