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Monday, May 9, 2011

The Power of Good

During the official "Days of Remembrance" this year, members of our local Interfaith Association viewed the film “The Power of Good,” a 2002 International Emmy Award winning documentary on the Holocaust. It is the moving story of Nicholas George Winton, who in 1939 was instrumental in helping save the lives of 669 Czech children, almost all Jewish, by bringing them across Hitler's Germany to his native Britain.

Between December 1938 and May 1940, almost 10,000 children and teens were being rescued through an international effort called Kindertransport and given shelter at farms, hostels, camps, and private homes in Britain. However, this did not include children of Czechoslovakia, which is why the work of Nicholas Winton was so vital.

For nearly 50 years Winton told no one about his tireless rescue mission - not even his wife, who found out about her husband's work as a young adult after finding a scrapbook of his in the couple's attic. In 1988, BBC Television broadcast a show in which over 100 of these rescued children, now very grateful adults, were reunited with their rescuer to express their gratitude.

Today, there are more than 5,000 descendants of the Winton children - all of whom owe their very lives to this quiet unassuming hero. And what impressed me most was the joy everyone experienced as a result of his sacrificial effort.

It made me wonder, what kind of reward might Winton have experienced from investing that same amount of time and money in a larger retirement, a pricier home, or in more travel for his personal pleasure? In the end, the sheer happiness this man experienced was far, far beyond priceless.
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