A campaign for Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton to be honoured with a special stamp from the Royal Mail is launched today by the Jewish News.
The initiative is backed by organisations and individuals at the forefront of Holocaust education in Britain as well as politicians from across the political spectrum.
The petition can be found here: ‘A stamp to honour Sir Nicholas Winton‘
The man dubbed Britain’s Schindler organised eight trains to take 669 children from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia to safety in London. He also helped to find foster families for the youngsters once they arrived in England but did not speak about his astonishing bravery for half a century.
Three weeks after David Cameron insisted the world must never forget Sir Nicholas’ humanity as he led tributes following his passing aged 106, an online petition has been launched urging the Royal Mail to produce a postage stamp in his honour “as part of efforts to ensure his memory and the lessons of his heroic actions live on”.
Jewish News’ Justin Cohen said: “Sir Nicholas rightly received the highest honours at national and local level during his lifetime, including his knighthood from The Queen. But his name and the lessons of his life must continue to be at the forefront of the public’s consciousness; a Royal Mail stamp would help to achieve just that while at the same time being a fitting accolade to his truly great Briton.
“We hope our campaign will attract support not just from Sir Nicholas’ home country of Britain but from the various countries where ‘Nicky’s children’ made their lives and beyond.”
The campaign is backed by the Holocaust Educational Trust and the Association of Jewish Refugees as well as by Sir Mick Davis, who chaired the Prime Minister’s Holocaust Commission.
He said: “The actions of some, including Britons like Sir Nicholas Winton, were a beacon of light during one of the darkest moments in recent history. Unlike so many at the time he refused to stand-by and allow evil to take hold. Recognition from the Royal Mail would be a fitting tribute to a national hero who must remain an inspiration for generations to come.”
HET Chief executive Karen Pollock said: “Anyone who has heard of sir Nicholas Winton has learnt something about standing up against injustice. This would be a fitting tribute to ensure that his legacy will continue – we are delighted to be working with the Jewish news on this initiative.” AJR CEO Michael Newman said such a tribute would help bring “his remarkable heroism further into the public consciousness”.
Labour MP Ian Austin said a stamp would be “a brilliant tribute to a great man who showed that British people do not walk away in the face of persecution”, while Tory Mike Freer added it would be “a very British way of recognising a wonderful Briton”.
Among the Britons honoured with Royal Mail stamps in recent years are former PM David Lloyd George, writer Dylan Thomas, broadcaster Richard Dimbleby and football manager Bill Shankly.
A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “One of the purposes of Royal Mail stamps is to honour those who have made important contributions to the UK, and every year we consider hundreds of subjects for inclusion in the stamp programme.
“While we do not currently have plans to feature Sir Nicholas on a stamp, he is definitely among the subjects for future consideration.”
Sign the campaign: http://chn.ge/1Kg4T1j