He was known for organising the rescue of 669 Czech children from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia before war broke out in 1939 using a program known as "Kindertransport". I had no idea that Britain began this program of transporting unaccompanied Jewish children from Austria and Germany before the war. So I guess some people were wise to the Jewish genocide.
Winton was British of course, a stockbroker before WWII. He was vacationing in Switzerland in late 1938 but went to Prague because of a call from a friend. There he was witness to refugees from the war living in brutal conditions.
He used "Kindertransport" to start a similar method for getting children out of Czechoslovakia. It is an incredible story that I was totally ignorant of until today, Holocaust Remembrance Day.
There was no comparable mass-rescue effort in Czechoslovakia. Mr. Winton created one. It involved dangers, bribes, forgery, secret contacts with the Gestapo, nine railroad trains, an avalanche of paperwork and a lot of money. Nazi agents started following him. In his Prague hotel room, he met terrified parents desperate to get their children to safety, although it meant surrendering them to strangers in a foreign land.
As their numbers grew, a storefront office was opened. Long lines attracted Gestapo attention. Perilous confrontations were resolved with bribes. Eventually he registered more than 900 children, although he had names and details on 5,000. In early 1939, he left two friends, Trevor Chadwick and Bill Barazetti, in charge in Prague and returned to London to find foster homes, raise money and arrange transportation.