A British Jew who saved 669 Czechoslovak children from the Nazis received the Czech Republic’s highest military decoration.
Sir Nicholas Winton, 98, was awarded the Cross of Merit of the 1st class on Tuesday by Defense Minister Vlasta Parkanova for organizing train transport for the mostly Jewish children from Prague to London just as the Nazis were invading Czechoslovakia.
“I am completely overwhelmed that should happen to me for something I did before most of you were born,” Winton said during a ceremony at the defense ministry. “I thank you all.”
The saved children have some 5,000 descendants.
Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg said Tuesday he supported the initiative of Czech students who have collected more than 30,000 signatures on a petition that nominates Winton for the Nobel Peace Prize.