Sir Nicholas Winton, saviour of 669 Czechoslovak children, honoured in Prague
Sir Nicholas Winton, the British man whose foresight and determination helped save 669 mostly Jewish Czechoslovak children from the Holocaust, paid a visit to Prague this week, and was given a rapturous reception. Now 98, this was his fifth visit to the Czech capital since the extraordinary story of his heroic deeds first emerged in the late 1980s. That story was captured in the moving documentary The Power of Good, by director Matej Minac. He's been showing the film in schools around the country, and organised a special event at Prague's Congress Centre on Tuesday, attended by Sir Nicholas, several of the children he'd saved, and two and a half thousand schoolchildren. Radio Prague spoke to Matej Minac after the showing.
"The students are motivated by what he did 68 years ago to do something for our world. In this there is hope, and we wanted to show it to Sir Nicholas and see his reaction. His reaction was tears, he was moved, and I think everybody in the house was moved - these few thousand children, all these important people etc. I hope that thanks to this we will be able through my new film to show that there is some hope for the future."
He was treated almost like a rock star in there. Do you think he likes the attention?
And you have some fairly big plans for his story and for him - I thought the nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize was a joke at first, but you're serious.
This is a naïve question but do you think that armed with that knowledge, they can help prevent the kind of things that happened 70 years ago happening again in the future?
"In the Talmud there is a Jewish saying - he who saves one life saves the world. Even if this initiative could change one life, positively, it's worth this endeavour. We can't hope that, you know, from now on everything will be fine! But at least we have tried."