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