Nadeslala Ewa Glubinska
Nicholas Winton’s (The British Schindler), the man who saved lives of 669 jewish children, statue on the railroadstation of Prague.”An important obstacle was getting official permission to cross into the Netherlands, as the children were destined to embark on the ferry at the Hook of Holland. After Kristallnacht the Dutch government had officially closed its borders to any Jewish refugees, and the border guards (marechaussee) actively hunted them and sent them back to Germany, despite the horrors of Kristallnacht being well known in the Low Countries, as, for instance, from the Dutch-German border the synagogue in Aix-la-Chappelle could be seen burning, only 3 miles away.
Winton nevertheless succeeded, thanks to the guarantees he had obtained from the British. After the first train, things went relatively well crossing the Netherlands. Also active in saving Jewish children – some 10,000, mostly from Vienna and Berlin and mostly also via the Hook – was the Dutchwoman Gertruida Wijsmuller-Meier, so the plight of Jewish children was well known in the Netherlands. It is not known whether Winton and 'Tante Truus’ (auntie Truus), as she was commonly known, ever met. In 2012 a statue was erected on the quai at the Hook to commemorate all those who saved Jewish children.
Winton found homes for 669 children, many of whose parents perished in Auschwitz. Winton’s mother also worked with him to place the children in homes, and later hostels. Throughout the summer he placed advertisements seeking families to take them in. The last group of 250, which had left Prague on 1 September 1939, was sent back because the Nazis had invaded Poland, marking the start of World War II.”