A Tribute to Britain’s Schindler, Sir Nicholas Winton (May 19, 1909 – July 1, 2015)
As a tribute to Sir Nicholas Winton (May 19, 1909 – July 1, 2015), who defined the meaning of selflessly giving back, we captured our 8 favorite quotes from this humble hero. We were fortunate to honor Sir Nicholas Winton at 104-yr-old (he lived until 106) with our top humanitarian award, the Golden Goody Award, in 2013, and will be forever grateful for what he taught us.
To help share his story, we also interviewed 1 of the 669 child survivors Dave Lux in Los Angeles, California, about meeting him for the first time.
What is fascinating about Sir Nicholas Winton is that he kept this story a secret for 50 years, until his wife found his notebook with photos and records of the 669 Czech and Slovak children he saved right before World War II broke out. As a 29-yr-old stockbroker, Sir Nicholas quit his job to form a team to find British families to adopt these children. Sir Nicholas Winton arranged for 9 trains, transport papers, covered 50-pound immigration fees, forged signatures to speed up the process, and even paid bribes to safely transport them to England.
To remember this great man, here are our favorite Sir Nicholas Winton quotes that are mostly from the documentary film, “Nicky’s Family” about his extended family of 6000+ people now (survivors, plus their children, plus their grandchildren) and the power of good they are doing to give back to the world.
8 Inspirational Quotes by Sir Nicholas Winton
I have a motto that if something isn’t blatantly impossible, then there must be a way of doing it. ~ Sir Nicholas Winton
Don’t be content in your life just to do no wrong, be prepared every day to try and do some good. ~ Sir Nicholas Winton
There are some stories which we are not only an audience to, but may become their participants. ~ Sir Nicholas Winton
There is nothing that can’t be done if it’s fundamentally reasonable. ~ Sir Nicholas Winton
Anything that is not actually impossible can be done if one really sets one’s mind to do it and is determined that it shall be done. – Sir Nicholas Winton
I never thought what I did 70 years ago was going to have such a big impact as apparently it has. If it is now going to help people to live for the future, that would be an added bonus. ~ Sir Nicholas Winton
There is a difference between passive goodness and active goodness, which is, in my opinion, the giving of one’s time and energy in the alleviation of pain and suffering. It entails going out, finding and helping those in suffering and danger, and not merely in leading an exemplary life, in a purely passive way of doing no wrong. ~ Sir Nicholas Winton
If people would work for a real ethical future…then most of humanity’s problems would be solved. ~ Sir Nicholas Winton (in his Golden Goody Awards acceptance video at 104 in 2013.)
In 2002, Sir Nicholas was knighted by Queen Elisabeth II in recognition of his work on the Czech Kindertransport. He was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, and has been recognized by many world leaders, including President George W Bush, Prime Minister Tony Blair, and President Ezer Weizman of Israel. He received Czech Republic’s highest award, honorary citizenship of Prague and an American congressional resolution, and was featured on 60 Minutes by the late Bob Simon.
The Dalai Lama described him this way, “Nicholas Winton, we should learn from his motivation and from his courage and act, we must carry his spirit from generation to generation, then humanities future will be brighter.”
From his home in Los Angeles, we will never forget interviewing 1 of his 669 child survivors, Dave Lux (82 years old). While it drizzled rain on us, we were frozen for over 2 hours hearing Dave Lux’s story about the day he met Sir Nicholas. You can watch this Dave Lux video that has now received over 90,500 views (10,000 in the past 2 days). We have received emails from all over the world in response to this video from Singapore, Germany, and the US with interview requests for Mr. Lux.
And lastly, from his home in England, Sir Nicholas Winton accepted our humanitarian award in this 1-minute video that we will treasure forever, “Thank you very much indeed for presenting me with the Golden Goody Award, which seems to encapsulate all the things, which I hold most dear. I feel if people lived according to the standard ethics, then most of our problems would be over. And I think what you are trying, hopefully successfully to do, is that people should not harp upon the past, but should work hard to work for a real ethical future. And if that could be achieved, most of humanity’s problems would be solved.”
Thank you Sir Nicholas Winton for being such a powerful force for good. As a child who grew up hearing holocaust survivor stories in Baltimore, Maryland, at holiday dinners (my parents often invited survivors for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner), it has always fascinated us how something so horrible could happen. Your story is such an inspiration, and we will continue to share it for decades to come. To learn more, read this New York Times Sir Nicholas Winton story (July 1, 2015).