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Sir Nicholas Winton saved the lives of 669 Jewish children by organising their evacuation in trains from Czechoslovakia to the United Kingdom during the summer of 1939. The last train was blocked in Prague because WWII broke out and the 250 children due to leave on it all lost their lives in extermination camps. The two buttons, donated by Nicholas Winton in support of the New Zealand Children's Holocaust Memorial, symbolise these lost lives.
Nicholas Winton became a legend in New Zealand after the movie of his deeds, the ''Power of Good'', was screened here in 2010. The premiere of that movie brought together some 30 people across four generations scattered throughout New Zealand. They would not be alive today without Nicky. Sir Nicholas Winton turned one hundred and four years old this year, on 19 May 2013. He is a nominee for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.
New Zealand Patron
New Zealand author Joy Cowley, OBE, feels New Zealand is an appropriate place for a memorial to the child victims of the Holocaust, just as New Zealand proved a welcoming haven to the child survivors. When she was a child, she had feelings of anguish and helplessness at the effect of war on children. These feelings were expressed in some of her earliest children’s books – “The Duck in the Gun” and “Yellow Overalls” – which are anti-war protests.
French historian, Serge Klarsfeld, has succeeded in retrieving photos of over 4,000 of the 11,400 French Jewish children murdered by the Nazis. He has created a paper memorial for them in the form of a photo gallery located in the Memorial of the Shoa in Paris. When our Project Leader, Vera Egermayer, visited him in Paris last October, Serge cut a button from the sleeve of the suit he was wearing and contributed it to our memorial.
These four buttons were donated by Dagmar Liblova, a Czech survivor of Auschwitz who has been decorated for her lifetime service to keeping the memory alive through teaching, writing, and presiding over a survivor organisation, the Terezin Initiative. The four buttons are for Dagmar's family members and they symbolise the 15,000 Czech Jewish children who perished.
Several years ago Chava found the diary of her brother Petr Ginz, who was assigned to one of the last transports to Auschwitz concentration camp, where he died in the gas chambers in 1944. His diary has been published in English under the name: The Diary of Petr Ginz 1941–1942. The diary was published in Spanish, Catalan, and Esperanto, as well as the original Czech.
The photo on the right shows Chava's family together before their separation. Chava has donated a button from the dress ther mother was wearing in this photo to the New Zealand Children's Holocaust Memorial.
The Galicia Jewish Museum, Kraków, exists to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust and celebrate the Jewish culture of Polish Galicia, presenting Jewish history from a new perspective.
As a unique contemporary arts venue and one of the most attractive cultural spaces in Kraków, the Galicia Jewish Museum is one of Poland’s most visited Jewish museums, and a leading contributor to the preservation of Jewish life in Poland. Since its opening in 2004, over 220,000 people – Jewish and non-Jewish, Polish and international, adults, students, children and families – have visited the Museum. The Museum is a member of the Association of European Jewish Museums; the Association of Holocaust Organisations; the Federation of International Human Rights Museums; and the International Council of Museums (ICOM).