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Nicholas Winston

Nicholas Winston

 

EARLY LIFE

 

  • Winton was born on 19 May 1909 in Hampstead, London to Jewish parents Rudolph Wertheim (1881–1937), a bank manager, and his wife Barbara.
  • In 1923, Winton entered Stowe School, which had just opened.He left without qualifications, attending night school while volunteering at the Midland Bank. He then went to Hamburg, where he worked at Behrens Bank, followed by Wasserman Bank in Berlin. In 1931, he moved to France and worked for the Banque Nationale de Crédit in Paris.
SOCIALIST

 

  • Through another socialist friend, Martin Blake, Winton became part of a left-wing circle opposed to appeasement and concerned about the dangers posed by the Nazis.
  • Shortly before Christmas 1938, Winton was planning to travel to Switzerland for a skiing holiday. He decided instead to visit Prague and help Martin Blake.
RESCUE WORK

 

  • Winton established an organisation to aid children from Jewish families at risk from the Nazis. He set up his office at a dining room table in his hotel in Wenceslas Square.
  • An important obstacle was getting official permission to cross into the Netherlands.After Kristallnacht in November 1938, the Dutch government officially closed its borders to any Jewish refugees.
  • Winton ultimately found homes in Britain for 669 children, many of whose parents would perish in the Auschwitz concentration camp.
  • He also wrote to US politicians such as President Franklin D. Roosevelt, asking them to take more children.He said that two thousand more might have been saved if they had helped.

NOTABLE PEOPLE SAVED

 

  • Leslie Baruch Brent, immunologist who did groundbreaking work on immune tolerance.
  •  Alf Dubs, Baron Dubs (born 1932), British Labour Party politician and former Member of Parliament
  •  Heini Halberstam (1926–2014), mathematician
  •  Renata Laxova(born 1931), paediatric geneticist
  •  Isi Metzstein (1928–2012), modernist architect
  •  Gerda Mayer (born 1927), poet
  •  Karel Reisz (1926–2002), filmmaker
  •  Joe Schlesinger (1928–2019), Canadian television journalist and author

DEATH

 

  • Winton died in his sleep on the morning of 1 July 2015 at Wexham Park Hospital in Slough from cardio-respiratory failure, having been admitted a week earlier following a deterioration in his health.
  • He was 106 years old. Winton was survived by his son, Nicholas, and his daughter, Barbara