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Page last updated at 15:46 GMT, Friday, 4 September 2009 16:46 UK
'The train that saved our lives'

Evacuees relive journey to safety

There was a lot of emotion amongst the passengers of the Winton Train as it left Harwich on Friday, 4 September.

On board were some of the 'Winton Children' saved from the Nazi's before the outbreak of World War Two.

At 9.12am the final leg began of their special journey from Prague to London reliving those that saved hundreds of Jewish children 70 years ago.

"I think this has been the second most important journey of our lives," said passenger Lady Milena Grenfell-Baines.

"The first one was the train that saved our lives - this one is a train where we have met people we travelled with, talked over old times and realised we've had 70 years of safety."

Between 1937 and 1939, an operation, which became known as 'Kindertransport', helped to save 669 children from being transported to Nazi death camps.

Orchestrated by young British stockbroker Sir Nicholas Winton, it took them via steam train from their Czechoslovakia homes across Europe, through Harwich and then on to London.

Many of these youngsters stayed in Harwich with local families.

The Winton Train
The train headed by a replica Peppercorn class A1

Lady Grenfell-Baines explained the three-day journey had given many of those involved a chance to learn more about this extraordinary story.

"My sister was four and I was nine and we remember very little of it," she said.

"We've met up with someone I've known for 70 years who now tells me we were with her in the same carriage - so that's been an amazing thing for us.

Another passenger boarding the train at Harwich International was Danman Simova, from Prague, who was 11 when she was placed on one of the trains by her parents.

"It's wonderful, because the atmosphere is quite different and we're meeting old friends," she said.

"We're putting together our memories - it really has been lovely and I'm really grateful for being on the train."

Danman also paid tribute to the man behind it all, Sir Nicholas Winton, who kept quiet about the mission for over 50 years.

"It was a huge thing he did and he is so modest," she said.

"He said he didn't think about it once it was finished because there were so many other wonderful things in his life that overshadowed this - which of course they shouldn't!"

In pictures: Winton Train departs
04 Sep 09 |  History
Profile: Nicholas Winton
28 Aug 09 |  UK



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