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Masarykovo nádraží – praha.mkc.cz
Masarykovo nádraží

Film: the story of the other volunteers: Beatrice Wellington, Margaret Dougan, Jean Rowntree, Robert J. Stopford (David Vaughan)

Nicholas Winton was not alone: rescuers 1938–1939

As the result of the Munich Agreement of 30 September 1938 the German-speaking areas of Czechoslovakia were annexed to Nazi Germany. Many social democrats and communists from these areas who had taken a stand against the Nazis had no choice but to flee to the Czech interior. Together with many Jews and Czechs, they mostly fled to Prague. They were all aware that they would not be safe in Prague for long. They suspected that sooner or later Hitler would subsume the rest of the Czechoslovak state into German territory, which for them represented a threat to their lives.

Numerous initiatives thus sprang up in an effort to help them travel to safe countries where they could find asylum. Without the help of many domestic and foreign volunteers, many of them would have undoubtedly been unable to reach safety. Nicholas Winton, together with other volunteers, took several hundred Jewish children to Britain. His story is by now well known. However, he was not alone. Doreen Warriner (1904-1971) worked for the British Committee for Refugees from Czechoslovakia, and she managed to obtain British visas for the families of Sudeten German social democrats. She continued her work even after the arrival of German troops on 15 March 1939. She was supported by Robert Stopford, an official from the British embassy, and the Quakers Jean and Tessa Rowntree.

All these people were among those who saved lives in Prague in 1938 and 1939.

This guided walk is a part of the "Democracy on the Brink. Historical lessons from the late 1930s" project supported by the Europe for Citizens programme of the European Union.

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