GOLDEN OLDIE

The Jewish Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - BY JOSH JACK­MAN

THE JC cam­paign to dis­cover more of Nicky’s Chil­dren has turned up 22 new names.

In 1988, BBC TV show That’s Life re­united Sir Ni­cholas Win­ton with some of the chil­dren he brought to the UK from Nazi-oc­cu­pied Cze­choslo­vakia in 1939. Oth­ers have now come for­ward as a re­sult of the JC’s ap­peal.

They in­clude refugees who went on to serve in the mil­i­tary and worked as teach­ers and nurses. Some moved on to Is­rael, Amer­ica and Aus­tralia. In cases where those res­cued had since died, in­for­ma­tion was sup­plied by rel­a­tives.

Now liv­ing in Birm­ing­ham, Lia Lesser was eight when she trav­elled on the last of the trains to leave for the UK.

She met Sir Ni­cholas a num­ber of times while at school in Eng­land and at cer­e­monies at the Czech and Slovakian em­bassies.

Mrs Lesser re­called him as “a very mod­est, kindly, quiet man with a gen­tle smile on his face, a twin­kle in his eye and a real sense of hu­mour — he was al­ways that way, from the first time I met him.

“Of course, we’ll never for­get him. He got on with ev­ery­one, and we all ad­mired him greatly. We’ll al­ways re­mem­ber what he did for us.” The 84-year-old spent her pro­fes­sional life as a nurse in Bri­tain, work­ing as a ward sis­ter and in mid­wifery, trauma, fam­ily plan­ning, surgery and ca­su­alty.

Af­ter ar­riv­ing here, twins Suzanne and Liesl Flusser stayed at a con­vent school­n­earManch­ester,wherethe­nuns took them in as part of the war ef­fort. Suzanne Flusser’s daugh­ter, Amanda Fur­ness, said the twins stayed at the con­vent un­til fin­ish­ing their education, aged 18, when they dis­cov­ered that their par­ents, aunts, un­cle, cousin and re­main­ing grand­par­ents had all died in con­cen­tra­tion camps.

“They both felt that now they had to make their way in the world with­out their par­ents. They con­sid­ered Bri­tain their home and wanted to stay here.

He­wasa mod­est, kindly, quiet man with a real sense of hu­mour

“My aunt Liesl went to Lon­don. She spent her en­tire ca­reer in nurs­ing, spend­ing much of her spare time as a vol­un­teer for the St John’s Am­bu­lance ser­vice. My mum went to Le­ices­ter Univer­sity and then be­came a wren in the Royal Navy.”

The twins were sur­vived by four chil­dren and seven grand­chil­dren.

David Weiss’s father and aunt, Kurt Weiss and Dor­rit Zo­bel, were also Nicky’s Chil­dren and now both live in Florida. Mr Weiss said he was “proud of them, my grand­par­ents who sac­ri­ficed ev­ery­thing to send their chil­dren away, not know­ing if and when they might meet again and, of course, Sir Ni­cholas”.

Holo­caust sur­vivor Yis­rael Kristal, who at 112 is thought to be the old­est man in the world. He was born in 1903 in Zarnov, Poland

Lia Lesser and daugh­ter Naomi with Sir Ni­cholas Win­ton in 2009

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.