Prague - Czech President Milos Zeman has decided to bestow the Order of the White Lion on Briton Nicholas Winton, saviour of hundreds of Jewish children, who is turning 105 today, and he has invited him to Prague, Zeman´s spokesman Jiri Ovcacek confirmed for CTK today.
Ilustrační foto - Sir Nicholas Winton se setkal 21. ledna v Praze se svými "zachráněnými židovskými dětmi". ČTK ČTK
The information was carried by public Czech Television (CT) earlier today.
Winton is to be presented with the highest Czech decoration on October 28, when the anniversary of establishment of independent Czechoslovakia in 1918 is marked.
Winton organised the transport of 669 Czechoslovak Jewish children from then Nazi-sponsored Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia to Britain just before World War Two erupted.
He secured documents for the children and their reception by British families.
The first train with Jewish children left Prague´s main railway station in May 1939. Most members of the children´s families died in concentration camps.
The Nazis did not allow the departure of a second train with 250 children, which was to leave Prague in September 1939.
Winton´s achievement was not publicly known for a very long time. It was published thanks to Holocaust historian Elisabeth Maxwell.
In 1988 BBC television made a documentary on him. Winton met the people whom he saved in the TV studio.
His daughter Barbara Winton has now written a book called If It´s not Impossible...The Life of Sir Nicholas Winton," which will be launched today.
She drew inspiration for the book title from her father´s motto "Anything that is not actually impossible can be done."
Winton has been decorated with a number of British and Czech awards. He has been knighted, he was awarded the Order of Tomas Garrigue Masaryk by then Czech president Vaclav Havel in 1998 and in 2010 he received the Holocaust Hero medal from former British prime minister Gordon Brown.