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669 Jewish children were saved from the Holocaust by a single man. This is how they thanked him.

On the eve of the Second World War, Sir Nicholas Winton rescued and found homes for 669 Jewish children destined for a Nazi death camp. This clip takes place 50 years after the rescue.

669 Jewish children were saved from the Holocaust by a single man. This is how they thanked him.

Nicholas Winton is a hero.

After Kristallnacht — an especially HORRIBLE day in November 1938 when German Nazis attacked Jewish people and property — the U.K. passed a measure that would allow Jewish refugees younger than 17 to come to Britain, provided they had a place to stay and a "warranty" of £50 deposited so that they'd eventually go back to Germany/their own country.

A nice gesture but definitely not an easy thing for a kid to do.


So here's where Sir Winton (and his mom!) came into play. Around Christmastime 1938, instead of going on a vacation to Switzerland like most of his fancy banker friends did, Sir Winton decided to go to Prague and set up a refugee system for Jewish children at risk from the Nazis.

He did this all at his hotel's dining room table:

He and his mother saved 669 children.

Sir Winton and his mother used the refugee system they set up and found homes and hostels for as many kids as they could, most of whom lost their parents and grandparents in Auschwitz and other Nazi concentration camps during the war.

Fast forward to 1988.

Sir Winton was invited to the taping of a BBC program called "That's Life." He was just sitting in the audience when BAM! The host of the show asked a simple question:

All the children he had saved 50 years ago had grown up, and many of them were sitting in the audience RIGHT NEXT TO HIM THE WHOLE TIME.

AHHHH!

We always say to never forget the bad things that happen, and it's important to hold those memories close. But this moment is a great reminder that we should also NEVER forget the good things. Like this courageous man and the 669 children he saved from the Nazis.

Jan. 27 is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, and 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the Auschwitz liberation. Let's not forget.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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