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Refugee Council to screen film on heroic WWII rescue of Jewish children

The Refugee Council will hold an exclusive charity screening of “Nicky’s Family” on 31st May 2012.

The film tells the story of Sir Nicholas Winton who rescued 669 Jewish refugee children from persecution by the Nazis in Czechoslovakia in 1939.

Esther Rantzen who features in the film, and Lord Alf Dubs, who was one of the children rescued by Winton, will speak at the event at The Liberal Jewish Synagogue in St. John’s Wood, London.

Originally from London, Sir Nicholas Winton, now 102 years old, arranged six trains to bring the children to the UK after seeing them in refugee camps, and persuaded the UK’s Home Office to allow them in. The 2011 film by Slovak director Matej Minac is due to be released later this year.

The screening, which is open to the public, is one of a range of events taking place to celebrate the 18th birthday of the Refugee Council’s Children’s Section in 2012. They have supported 18,000 refugee children since the service was set up in 1994. All proceeds from the event will go towards continuing this work.

Rantzen said: “I first came across Sir Nicholas Winton’s incredible story when I was presenting That’s Life. His extraordinary achievement in saving so many children from the Holocaust is an inspiration to us all. Since that time, tragically, there have been millions more innocent victims of war and genocide, which is why I feel so strongly about the great work the Refugee Council is doing to support refugee children and adults to this day.”

Sir Winton, whom the film is based on, said: “I saw firsthand the difficulties children were facing in refugee camps in Czechoslovakia before World War II, which spurred me into action. I am delighted the Refugee Council is showing this film to mark the work they too have been doing with refugee children. The world has changed a lot since 1939, but children coming here today from war torn countries, with no family or belongings, need all the support they can get, which is why I hope the Refugee Council can continue its great work with refugee children.”

Donna Covey, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council said they were delighted to be screening the film about Sir Nicholas Winton’s extraordinary rescue mission for Jewish refugee children all those years ago. “While the circumstances facing refugee children coming here today are very different, they face similar challenges in starting again in a strange country, far from family and friends. This year we are celebrating 18 years of supporting thousands of refugee children, and we are grateful to all those coming to this event to help us raise vital funds so we can carry on with this important work.”

Details of the event
Date: 31st May, 2012
Time: 7pm for drinks reception and screening
Venue: The Liberal Jewish Synagogue, 28 St. John’s Wood Road London, NW8 7HA
Tickets: £15 (under 18s free)
Buy tickets here: www.refugeecouncil.org.uk/nickysfamily
 

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