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Blair honours 'British Schindler'

LONDON, England -- A British stockbroker who saved hundreds of children from Nazi death camps is being honoured by Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Nicholas Winton, now 93, smuggled 669 Jewish children out of Czechoslovakia and found them safe homes in the UK at the outbreak of World War II.

He was 29 when he organised train transportation for them from Nazi-occupied Prague to London's Liverpool Street station.

But it would be another 50 years before his deeds would come to light.

Winton's wife, Grete, found an old scrapbook detailing the evacuations, which involved eight trainloads of children passing through Hitler's Germany en route to London.

She persuaded her husband to have his story told, and a documentary film, "Nicholas J. Winton -- Power of Good," was made in Slovakia.

The film receives its British premier at the Barbican Screen in central

London on Wednesday night, when Britain's minister for Europe, Peter Hain, will present Winton a letter from Blair.

Winton also will meet some of the children he saved -- now aged 70 and upward -- for the first time.

Winton has been dubbed "Britain's Schindler" after Oskar Schindler, whose similar story inspired the movie "Schindler's List." Schindler saved more than 1,000 Jews from Nazi concentration camps by employing them at his factory in Poland.

"Nicholas Winton has touched the lives of many. All of the children he saved survived the war but few of their parents did," Hain was expected to tell Winton.

"The legacy of his act extends across the globe. There are over 5,000 descendants of the Winton children around the world, including in the UK, Canada, Czech Republic and the United States. This film is a poignant portrait of his legacy."

In 1939, Winton a letter in which he said there was "a difference between passive goodness and active goodness."

"The latter is, in my opinion, the giving of one's time and energy in the alleviation of pain and suffering," he said.



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