Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once, and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.
My words are:
In December 1938, Nicky Winton, a British guy in his late 20s, was about to leave for a skiing vacation in Switzerland, when his friend Martin Blake called. During that conversation it turned out that Martin was volunteering at a Jewish refugee camp in Czechoslovakia. Conditions were not pretty. It was cold, they were scared, and they didn't have enough food. Nicholas felt compelled to do something. He especially wanted to help getting the kids out of the country.
He was informed that kids from Czechoslovakia were not covered by the Kindertransport organization, so he set up his own rescue mission - operating from his hotel room.
Hundreds of desperate families soon heard about the news and lined up. Winton signed the kids up and worked on meeting the requirements of the British government, so they would admit those kids:
- A GBP 50 guaranty to pay for the child's care, education and eventually their return trip. Considering inflation this is about the equivalent of USD 4,000 today
- Find foster families willing to temporarily take in a child or two - nobody wanted to believe that this situation would turn into aggravation and become long-term, if not indefinite
- Arrange for paperwork and transportation. Nicholas admitted that forgery was a factor when it came to the kid's documents. In an interview the journalist implied that Nicky had managed to do what he did through a little deception, a little smoke and mirrors..?!" - "Yes, to a certain extent" he smirked.
Back to England, Winton had to do his day job as a stock broker, but he mobilized his mother and a couple of friends to continue his work, and at night he was wrestling with bureaucracy. He managed to get out 669 kids before borders were closed when WW II began on Sept 1st, 1939.
Almost 50 years later his wife found the scrapbook in which he had kept records, letters and the list of the kids he rescued. She contacted the media, and his story went viral. They found many of the people who got out of Czechoslovakia thanks to Nicky Winton:
Hanna Slome talking about coming to England as a 14 yo
Dave Lux, another child survivor
|Grandma and me, earlier this year|
So today 105 year old Nicky Winton is my poster boy for all those courageous, altruistic and simply great people out there! Thank you for not looking the other way, for taking charge and for being compassionate!
|“If something is not impossible, |
then there must be a way of doing it”
Sir Nicholas George Winton
Please go check out what words the other bloggers got and what they did with them:
Baking In A Tornado
Spatulas on Parade
Stacy Sews and Schools
Sparkly Poetic Weirdo
Confessions of a part time working mom
Dates 2 Diapers 2
The Bergham Chronicles
The Sadder but Wiser Girl
Someone else's Genius
Follow me home
Crumpets and bollocks