October 24, 2013

Sir Nicholas Winton with rescued children

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By Kathryn Kopchik

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Bucknell University's Film/Media Series will host a screening of "Nicky's Family" on Tuesday, Nov. 12, at 7:30 p.m. in the Campus Theatre, located at 413 Market St. in Lewisburg.

Peter A. Rafaeli, who is the Honorary Consul General of the Czech Republic in Philadelphia, will introduce the film and lead a discussion afterwards. The film is directed by Matej Minac, author of Nicholas Winton's Lottery of Life, which Rafaeli has translated.

"Nicky's Family" chronicles the rescue and secret transport of 669 Jewish children to safety in the U.K. and Sweden just before Hitler's invasion of Czechoslovakia. Englishman Nicholas Winton organized the rescue but kept it a secret for half a century.

Today the story of this rescue is known all over the world. Winton was knighted by the Queen Elizabeth II and the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 583 recognizing his remarkable deed.

The film showcases the unique phenomenon that has emerged from Winton's story, how his courageous acts many years ago continue to influence people from all over the world and motivate them to do good.

Thousands of children in many countries are following in Winton's footsteps by contributing to charity projects and helping to save the lives of undernourished and sick children in Cambodia and Africa.

More than 120,000 children in the Czech Republic have signed a petition to award Winton the Nobel Prize for Peace. Dozens of Winton's "children" have been found and to this day his family has grown to almost 6,000 people, many of whom have gone on to achieve great things themselves.

"Nicky's Family" has earned rave reviews from audiences and critics around the world, winning more than 30 awards, including 14 audience awards from U.S. film festivals.

The screening, which is presented as the University's commemoration of Kristallnacht, is co-sponsored by Bucknell University Campus Jewish Life, which is underwriting the cost of admission. Campus Jewish Life also will offer free popcorn to attendees.

Kristallnacht marks the beginning of the Holocaust in Germany when organized gangs of Nazi youth roamed through Jewish neighborhoods on Nov. 9 and 10, 1938, breaking windows of Jewish businesses and homes, burning synagogues and looting.