This article was first published in The Times of Israel.
Dave Lux remembers that he lived with his family in an isolated rural area in Slovakia near the Hungarian border, and that his father was a baker in a nearby village. He also recalls that his parents fled with him and his older brother the day after some soldiers came to their house in spring 1939.
They ended up being held by the authorities with other families in a building, where a blonde woman came to convince parents to give up their children for their safety.
“My parents were the only parents that agreed to let their children go with her,” Lux, 80, says. “I remember that when it came time for us to leave, my mother was crying hysterically and asking us over and over if we were sure we wanted to go. We said yes, since we thought we were just going for an outing.”
For most of his life, Lux, who used to be Isidor Pinkasovic, had no idea who that blonde woman was, or who had sent her.
By now, many people know who Nicholas Winton is. But for fifty years, virtually no one was aware that he had saved the lives of 669 Jewish Czech and Slovak children on the eve of World War II.
Winton, then a young British stockbroker, dropped everything in early 1939, set up a refugee committee operation in Prague, and worked tirelessly to get Jewish children out on kindertransports to England and Sweden. No one knew what he had done because the children were either unaware of who had saved them, or were too young to remember. Winton himself went on to serve in the Royal Air Force and later to marry and start a family, never mentioning his act of heroic kindness to anyone.
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© 2013 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.