The Light That Shines Forever
The True Story and Remarkable Rescue of 669 Children on the Eve of World War II
by David Warner
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Pub Date 19 Sep 2023 | Archive Date 03 Oct 2023
Shadow Mountain Publishing, Shadow Mountain
The shadow of war was spreading across Europe. Hitler’s armies had marched into the borderlands of Czechoslovakia, forcing Jewish families, among others, to flee their homes and seek refuge in any location that would accept them.
When Nicholas Winton, the son of Jewish-German immigrants, traveled from London to Czechoslovakia to help the refugee families huddled in tents in sprawling encampments, an ingenious plan began to formulate in his head. By special waiver, children could leave the country without their parents, as long as host families abroad took them in. As word of his plan spread, parents lined the hallways and staircases of Winton’s hotel, begging for help. If Nicholas could get their children out of the country safely, the families would find a way to join them. Three weeks later, when Winton returned to London, he carried with him the names and photographs of hundreds of children—even babies—entrusted to him by their parents.
With the assistance of his mother and a growing circle of helpers, Winton began recruiting host families, raising funds, and securing visas. For nine months, he arranged for children to travel by train and ferry to England. Then war was declared, and the Czech border closed.
Fifty years later, Nicholas’s wife, Grete, discovered a long-forgotten scrapbook in their attic containing the names and documentation of 669 children. It was the only record of her husband’s remarkable rescue efforts. What followed was a series of equally remarkable events that allowed this heroic story to be told and for millions to learn the fate of these rescued children, all on live television.
The Light That Shines Forever is a beautifully illustrated picture book, with primary source documents and photographs, that brings to life a remarkable wartime rescue. Its lesson and message invite readers to ask the questions: What light will we bring to others? What stories will fill the scrapbooks of our lives?
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 31 members
THE LIGHT THAT SHINES FOREVER by DAVID WARNER is the heartwarming story of a young man, Nicholas Winton, who saw a need and did something about it. I like his humility and his determination in making it possible for 699 Jewish children to leave Czechoslovakia in 1938, thus saving them from the Nazis. I also like the fact that he was honoured by the many descendants of the children whose lives he saved, by the Queen and by the Jewish nation with his scrapbook being displayed in the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Centre in Jerusalem, where the heartwrenching choice made by the parents and their enormous sacrifice in sending their children to safety is well documented.
I like the way “he rejected adulation. “I am not a hero” he insisted, “I just did what needed to be done.””
I was given a free copy of the book by NetGalley from Shadow Mountain Publishing. The opinions in this review are completely my own.
This book is absolutely beautiful. The story, the unbelievable illustrations, and the message.
"Someone should do something about that!" A better response when we encounter someone in need would be for us to adopt the mantra: "What can I do that would make a difference?"
That is what Sir Nicholas (Nicky) Winton, the son of a Jewish-German immigrant who was living in London did. It was 1939 when he gave up a planned ski trip to travel to Czechoslovakia. He found encampments full of immigrants, most of them Jewish, in tents trying to find a way to flee the country and mostly keep their children safe.
He worked tirelessly to help rescue 669 children. To read how, and learn more of the inspiring story- this is a must-read.
His son wrote; "To my father, being a good person necessitated actively helping others instead of merely refraining from wrongdoing.
"So often, religious beliefs, cultural backgrounds, historical traditions, and so forth, are excuses to divide ourselves from one another. But, like light itself, God's love shines on all people, everywhere. And when we share that light by serving others- including with those who are different from us-the light of goodness has an infinite reach and influence.
I’ve seen the viral video. Many times. Where the MC of the event asks all of those to stand if this man has affected their lives through his efforts of evacuating Jewish children before the onset of WWII. It is MOVING. I watch it frequently. But that was the extent of my knowledge. This children’s book is the story. And it is excellent! I loved getting the full story. It will move you and it is very timely for children living in this time. Loved it! And the pictures were phenomenal!
Beautiful children's storybook based on a true story. Nicholas Winton is a young Jewish-German stockbroker in London when he hears of refugee camps of Jewish families in Czechoslovakia. The families will not be allowed to leave but he comes up with a plan to get special waivers so children can leave their parents. He returns to London with photos and names of hundreds of children that he must find sponsors and raise funding to bring them to London. In total he saves 669 children giving them a chance at life before the border closes. It is over 50 years later before his work is rediscovered. His knighted by Queen Elizabeth and referred to as the British Schindler.
I love the message of the difference that one person can make and how many lives that are changed because of it. This story was originally told as part of Christmas concerts performed by the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square. I feel fortunate to have attended many of these performances as they are recorded and broadcast on PBS and streamed. And I have many friends who collect these inspirational storybooks and add them annually to the holiday bookshelf. I’m happy, and a bit teary having read the temporary ARC from Shadow Mountain Publishing via NetGalley and I am leaving a voluntary review.
I love each Christmas Concert of The Tabernacle at Temple Square as well as the orchestra and Christmas bells. I love that each year a new message comes with special narrators. I heard of the story of Sir Nicholas Winton years ago and my love for any Holocaust stories has simply deepened through the years. I'm so glad that they are adding a book each year with the DVD and CD of these concerts and this one will definitely be added to my growing collection as the story is beautiful and lightens my heart. Nicky (as the book so fondly calls Sir Nicholas Winton) never saw himself as a hero but he is truly a hero beyond words. He did what he figured any man would do but honestly we know that a person wouldn't raise the equivalent of 2,676,000 US Dollars to enable 669 children to escape from a coming was and nearly certain death.
The true story of real-life hero Nicholas Winton, a man who masterminded the escape of 669 from Czechoslovakia during WWII.
A beautifully illustrated book that shows the humbleness of a man who didn't think twice about the glory or fame, but simply did the right thing. An inspiring true story, I admired his humble spirit and heart for others.
A wonderful book that celebrates life and a man who went to great lengths for others and the powerful impact his actions had for years to come!
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.