Sir Nicholas Winton: Google Doodle marks birthday of ‘Britain’s Schindler’

‘We hope that people will be inspired by his story to take action themselves today to help others - in their own communities or internationally’

Justin Vallejo
New York
Tuesday 19 May 2020 07:59
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‘British Schindler’ Sir Nicholas Winton gets tearful surprise on TV programme

The Google Doodle on 19 May marks what would have been the 111th birthday of Sir Nicholas Winton, who single-handedly saved 669 Jewish children from the Holocaust.

Known as “Britain’s Schindler”, it took 50 years for the world to recognise the feat of humanitarianism after his wife found secret documents in the 1980s referencing the daring rescue half a century earlier.

Five years after his death in 2015, Google marked Sir Winton’s 19 May birthday with a Doodle showing children at a train station to represent the escape of primarily Jewish children from German-occupied Czechoslovakia in the lead up to World War II.

“Today, Winton’s story serves as a shining example of the power of selfless action to bring about incredible change,” Google said in a blog post announcing the Doodle.

In an accompanying letter to the blog post, Sir Winton’s daughter, Barbara Winton, said the story only became public via a TV programme, That’s Life!, in 1998 when he was united with some of those children, now in their 60s, who had not known until then how they had been saved.

“From then on, until his death in 2015 aged 106, he met hundreds of ‘his’ children, along with their own children and grandchildren. Many became his close friends,” Ms Winton wrote on behalf of the family.

“We hope that people will be inspired by his story to take action themselves today to help others – in their own communities or internationally.”

About 7,000 people are alive today because of Sir Winton’s “Kindertransport”. The footage of him being surprised and meeting many of them in 1988 continues to go viral every year for Holocaust Memorial Day on 27 January.

Here are a few of the tributes from this year’s day of remembrance, along with repeated shares of the viral video that never gets old.

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