Holocaust Memorial Day: Sir Nicholas Winton's statue lit up

Image source, Simon Galloway
Image caption,
A statue of Sir Nicholas Winton has been lit up at Maidenhead railway station

A statue of the man known as the "British Schindler" has been lit up to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

Sir Nicholas Winton smuggled 669 boys and girls, destined for concentration camps, out of Czechoslovakia in 1939.

Great Western Railway (GWR) said it decided to illuminate the monument to him at Maidenhead railway station with one candle for each child he rescued.

The statue of Sir Nicholas, who died aged 106 in 2015, was first unveiled by the town's MP Theresa May in 2010.

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
Sir Nicholas carrying a refugee child in 1939

Realising the danger that the imminent German invasion posed, Sir Nicholas worked to find British families willing to put up £50 to rescue the children and look after them until they were 17.

He kept quiet about his work for 50 years until his wife found his scrapbook, and he was later reunited with some of the children he saved during an episode of BBC programme That's Life in 1988.

His efforts were likened to the work of Oskar Schindler, who garnered worldwide fame for helping to save Jewish people from the Nazis.

Sir Nicholas was knighted by the Queen in March 2003, and the Czech Republic later awarded him its highest honour - the Order of the White Lion (1st class).

Image caption,
Sir Nicholas visited the statue when it was unveiled in 2010

Lord Alf Dubs, who was six years old when Sir Nicholas arranged for his safe passage on the Czech Kindertransport, went on to become an MP and his close friend.

Lord Dubs said: "What better way to mark Holocaust Memorial Day than to celebrate Nicky Winton, the man who saved my life and the lives of 668 other children who were brought to safety in the UK on the Kindertransport from Prague in the summer of 1939."

Households across the country have been encouraged to put candles in their windows from 20:00 GMT as part of this year's theme for Holocaust Memorial Day of "be the light in the darkness".

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