Make circumcision and go to Israel
July 19 in New York and Los Angeles premiere of a full-length documentary film "The Nikki Family". Europe has already seen it, crowned with awards, but because of the film written a lot.
"I would call this operation the best that I managed to do in life. In addition, in my life there was not much success, "says Nicholas from the screen. "I do not really like the glory that the salvation of children brought to me: it seems to me that this is a completely natural, ordinary action."
. And it all started with the fact that in 1938, a 29-year-old banker Nikki Vinton was going to spend a Christmas vacation together with school buddy Martin Blake in the Swiss Alps. I packed up things when Martin called on the evening of December 23, said that he had canceled his trip to Switzerland, and instead he urgently flies to Prague, where he needs help. There was no time to get into the details, so he asked to meet as soon as possible at the Prague hotel "Shrubek". Four days later, Vinton was in the hotel "Shrubek", and Martin said that the British Committee for Refugees, who sent him to Prague, is trying to take out of the country people whose lives are in danger. To do this, you need to find guarantors, work and get permission for them to enter England. This he does. But there is a special contingent - children, and with them the situation is somewhat different. Nikki, without hesitation, decided to take care of the children for himself.
"I am not a religious person, and I do not care whether I send Jewish, communist, Catholic or other children out of danger and in whose saving hands I pass them. Maybe I'm doing something that does not look religious from a religious point of view, but the children are alive! And what is better - dead, but a Jew, or a living Jew, but proselyte? ".
In the spring of 1988, the Winton couple met with Elizabeth Maxwell, the wife of the British media tycoon Robert Maxwell (1923-1991) and showed her papers. Maxwell himself could well be on the list of "children": a Czech Jew, he in 1938 himself fled in search of work in Vienna and Paris, and by 1940 he had reached England. His wife, Elizabeth Maxwell, a historian, has worked hard to make Britain aware of the Holocaust. Preparing the article and the transfer of Vinton, Elizabeth Maxwell sent a letter to the pre-war addresses from the Winton portfolio with a request to tell about the subsequent fate of the children. And received 150 responses, 60 - from the children themselves!
Those who responded from the "Prague Kinder Transport" wrote that they heard an answer to the question that had tormented them all their lives: how we got here, who saved us. And added that no "thanks" can not convey their gratitude to the person who gave them life. And that they themselves, and their children, and the children of their children, are indebted to Mr. Vinton.
"On all counts I do not fit: first, I did not risk my life, saving Jewish children; secondly, I am a Jew, baptized, but a Jew. "
For the rescue of 669 children, Nicholas Vinton is honored in many countries where his "children" live, but above all in the Czech Republic and England. In 2002 the Queen of Great Britain Elizabeth II granted Vinton the knighthood, and he became Sir Nicholas, and in 2008, when he was in Slovakia at the same time as Sir Nicholas, the Queen gave him an audience. In 1998 the Czech Republic awarded Vinton with the highest award of the republic - the Order of Masaryk and the Cross of the 1st degree for valor and courage. A monument to the savior of Jewish children was opened at the Prague Railway Station.
Make circumcision and go to Israel