LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A British man who became a hero when he saved hundreds of children from the Holocaust has died at the age of 106.
Nicholas Winton was a young stockbroker in England in the late 1930s when he began to organize the rescue of mostly Jewish children in other parts of Europe that were falling under the control of the Nazis.
In the months before World War II, Winton found homes for 669 children and arranged for their safe passage to Britain.
For decades after the war, Winton kept his efforts a secret, until his wife discovered a scrapbook of his deeds and convinced him to tell his story. In 2013, Winton was surprised when he was sitting in an audience surrounded by the now-grown children he had saved from a fate in the Nazi death camps.
Dave Lux, 82, who now lives in Los Angeles, recalls being separated from his mother and father at the age of 5 in then-occupied Czechoslovakia. He was among the children rescued by Winton in 1939. Lux attended a reunion in the United States for those children who had also been rescued.
“I was so shocked, I didn’t know what to say,” Lux said. “What do you say to the man who, the reality is, he saved your life 50 years ago?”
Lux also remembers what Winton said when he was asked about his deeds.
“He said ‘I saw the danger they were under, and I felled compelled, that’s the word he used, to do something to take the children out,’ ” Lux said.
In a 2014 interview with “60 Minutes,” Winton expanded on the initiative he took to save hundreds of lives.
“I work on the motto that ‘If something is not impossible, there must be a way of doing it,’ ” Winton said.
Winton, dubbed the “British Schindler,” passed away Wednesday.
Lux says that Winton not only saved his life but allowed him to live on to have three children, five grandchildren and generations to come.
“There’s over 6,000 survivors, those from survivors, that wouldn’t be here today,” Lux said. “We all owe him, and I’ll do whatever I can, making sure nobody will forget him.”