Thousands petition for Sir Nicholas Winton to be given the Nobel Prize

By Jennifer Lipman, June 14, 2013

A petition bearing the names of more than 212,000 people is being presented to the Nobel Prize committee today urging it to honour Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton.

Known as "the British Schindler", Sir Nicholas, who is now 104, saved 669 children from the Nazis by arranging the eight trains that made up the Czech Kindertransport.

At considerable personal risk, the young British stockbroker ensured that the children escaped occupied Czechoslovakia on the eve of the Holocaust.

Now, 75 years later, children at a school in Prague have launched a campaign for his deeds to be recognised with the Nobel Peace Prize.

Today the pupils will take their petition directly to the committee in Oslo and call on them to consider the matter as a priority.

The prize cannot be given out posthumously.

"Through his actions, he contributed to the idea of 'the fraternity of nations' as set out

in Alfred Nobel's final testament," said one of the pupils, Dominika Kourilova.

"When I look at my children, grandchildren and now great-grandchildren I realise we are all part of a family – now of a few thousand – which would have never been but for Sir Nicholas Winton," added Lady Milena Grenfell-Baines, who was one of those saved by Sir Nicholas.

"He must never be forgotten and by being awarded the Nobel Prize his action should be an example of the difference one can make not merely by leading an exemplary life in a purely passive way of doing no wrong, but going out and finding and helping those suffering and in danger."

Last updated: 10:27am, June 14 2013