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.

Top-Down Theory
Shoshana Friedman Our true currency, the accomplishments we value most
Strive for What Binds Us
Yonoson Rosenblum The chareidi community represents something of an oasis
Embracing Victimhood
Eytan Kobre Combating the allure of victimhood
The Kids Are Going to Camp, the Parents Are Going Broke
Miriam Klein Adelman Mindy has to feel good; it doesn’t matter that I feel ba...
Work/Life Solutions with Carlos Wigle
Moe Mernick “Rejection is Hashem’s protection” 
How to Create a Simple 900-Page Novel
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman All of us can reset the titles of our own lives
Stand There or Do Something
Baruch S. Fertel, MD, MPA, FACEP It’s called collaborative care, and it works miracles
I'm Here — Are You Ready?
Riki Goldstein Upbeat and catchy, but still makes listeners think
Back in Time
Riki Goldstein "I wish I could recapture that excitement"
Mixed Messages
Riki Goldstein The unsung craftsmen who give albums their special touch
Go in Peace
Faigy Peritzman Inner peace makes us vessels for blessing
All Work and No Play
Sarah Chana Radcliffe A life only about doing your duties loses all its color
Dying to Believe
With Rav Moshe Wolfson, written by Baila Vorhand Emunah peshutah is the force behind Jewish continuity