Former CBC journalist and masterful storyteller Joe Schlesinger dies

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      One of the most admired correspondents in CBC history has died.

      Joe Schlesinger was 90 years old.

      The odds were that he would never survive childhood.

      A Jew born in Vienna and raised in Bratislava, his parents were killed in the Holocaust by the Nazis.

      Schlesinger and his brother would have likely died too, had it not been for the intervention of a London stockbroker named Nicholas Winton.

      The Germans invaded what was then known as Czechoslovakia and absorbed much of it into the Third Reich.

      Winton and some assistants then decided to help some of the refugees, finding homes for children in the United Kingdom.

      "For the parents parting with their children at the railway station was painful," Schlesinger recalled in the documentary below. "They may not have known that they would never see them again, but they could not have helped but think it."

      At the age of 11, he wound up in England, spared of the horrors of the Second World War in continental Europe. His parents weren't so lucky.

      Watch this CBC documentary by Joe Schlesinger telling of his miraculous escape from the Nazis prior to the Second World War.

      Schlesinger became a journalist after the war, returning to Czechoslovakia. But he fled when the Communist government began arresting his peers, arriving in Canada in 1950.

      He ended up at the University of British Columbia and worked for a while for the Province and Toronto Star before being hired by the CBC in 1966.

      There, he distinguished himself as a foreign correspondent, winning three Gemini Awards and being inducted into the Canadian News Hall of Fame.