England, July 4: Sir Nicholas Winton, considered a holocaust hero for rescuing 669 children bound for the concentration camp, died at the age of 106 on July 1. Winton, a stockbroker then had arranged for trains to carry Jewish children out of occupied Prague. Incidentally, he died on the day when the train carrying the largest number of children-241-departed in 1939.
The Englishman brought the children to Britain, battling bureaucracy at both the ends and saving these young lives from death. He arranged for a total of eight trains and some other forms of transport from Vienna to execute his plans. His role did not end there.
He also worked for the rehabilitation of these very children and found them homes in Britain. However, he kept quiet about the entire incident for half-a century. It was only after his wife found scrapbooks and documents in 1988, detailing the children and their whereabouts that he opened up regarding the same.
Awarded by the queen and the Rotary Club of Maidenhead (of which he was the President), he was compared to the Oskar Schindler and Raoul Wallenberg. While Schindler was an ethnic German who saved 1200 Jews by employing them in his enamelware and munitions factories in Poland and Czechoslovakia, Wallenberg was a Swedish diplomat who used illegal passports and legation hideaways to save thousands of Jewish in Hungary.
Winton's son-in-law Stephen Watson said that he died peacefully in his sleep at the Wexham Hospital, Slough.