Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Because It Was Possible

C.S. Teitelbaum

Nicholas Winton was a stockbroker in London when the Nazis began their rampage across Europe. Would he be able to pull off the rescue of hundreds of children who faced certain death? When he marked his 105th birthday recently, he was witness to the answer: a retinue of guests who owe him their lives.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

One hundred five candles flickered on the birthday cake presented to Sir Nicholas Winton at London’s Czech Embassy in May. That milestone would have been reason enough to interview the Jewish-born centenarian. But many of the hundred or so guests who came to celebrate Winton’s 105th birthday told another story: They were “Nicky’s kids” and they owe Winton their lives. The story of this unsung hero, who organized eight Kindertransports and saved close to 600 Jewish children from near-certain death, brought Mishpacha to his home in Maidenhead, England. In this quiet, leafy suburb outside London, on a breezy Sunday afternoon, Winton’s daughter Barbara Watson and I shared a park bench near Winton’s apartment. Barbara lives with her husband Stephen Watson, an astronomy teacher, in Herefordshire, but she comes down to Maidenhead most weekends to care for her elderly father. There seemed no better person to tell the story of “Nicky’s kids,” thanks to her recent decision to get her father’s rich legacy down on paper, even if just for her own sake. And so our conversation turns to the fascinating biography she has just published, If It’s Not Impossible (Matador Publishing).

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

Using Our Free Will Effectively
Yonoson Rosenblum The image we carry of ourselves is key
Eytan Kobre The ripple effects of one Jew’s kiddush Sheim Shamayim
Living the High Life
Rabbi Avrohom Neuberger It is exhilarating to matter, to be truly alive
It’s Time for Us to Speak Up
Rabbi Dovid Eliezrie We must speak out proudly for the values of Yiddishkeit
Kiruv Is Not Dead
Rabbi Meir Goldberg Do these sound like uninspired or closed students?
Frosting on the Cake
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman “Let’s not let a missing chocolate cake ruin our siyum!”
A Warm Corner in Flatbush
Yosef Zoimen It was a simple shul with a choshuve leader
Out of Control
Jacob L. Freedman “That’s illegal, Dr. Fine. I can’t have a part in this”
Song of Reckoning in the Skulener Court
Riki Goldstein “It’s awe-inspiring to watch the Rebbe sing this song”
“U’teshuvah, U’tefillah, U’tzedakah”
Riki Goldstein Throughout the Yamim Noraim, three words accompany us
The Rebbe Held His Gaze
Riki Goldstein A moment etched in Reb Dovid Werdyger’s memory forever
The Road Taken
Faigy Peritzman In the end it’s clear who really merits true happiness
Sincere Apology
Sarah Chana Radcliffe A heartfelt and complete apology can turn things around
Power Pack of Mercy
Mrs. Shani Mendlowitz The 13 Attributes of Mercy are “an infinite treasure”
The Appraiser: Part II
D. Himy M.S. CCC-SLP, and Zivia Reischer “Eli needs to see people who struggled to achieve”