Leading article: Kindness of strangers

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The Independent Online

The Second World War produced countless tales of desperate escape facilitated by the kindness of strangers. But few speak to us more movingly than the stories of those individuals who helped Jews, the most vulnerable of all the citizens of Europe between 1939 and 1945, escape the clutches of the Nazis.

We are familiar with the stories of Oskar Schindler, Raoul Wallenberg and Irena Sendler. Rather less familiar to us is the name Nicholas Winton. Winton was a British stockbroker who managed to evacuate 669 children, most of them Jewish, from Czecholsovakia on the eve of the war. Some of them boarded a train in Prague yesterday, bound for London, to commemorate that journey to salvation.

We rightly pore over the barbarism and inhumanity of the Second World War. But we must not overlook the bravery and compassion that that dark era also produced, and of which Nicholas Winton is a shining and inspiring example.