Saturday, July 24, 2010

Irena Sendler

A name you should not forget. Why? Here is the story.

In 2008 a 98 year-old lady named Irena Sendler (also known as Sendlerowa, surname of her first husband in her native country of Poland) died. She was a Catholic woman whose story was unknown until publicized in 1999 by some kids in rural Kansas who were looking for an example of the moto, “He who changes one person, changes the entire world”. They created a play named "Life in a jar" about Irena.

During WWII, Irena, got permission to work in the Warsaw Ghetto, as a Sewer specialist. She had an 'ulterior motive'... she knew what the Nazi's plans were because she was a member of an underground group who had uncovered their plans for extermination of the Jews. In response Irena smuggled infants out in the bottom of the tool box she carried to work each day. She carried a burlap sack in the back of her truck for larger kids.

Becoming head of the children's division of the underground group Zegota, Irena managed to save over 2500 kids and infants from the Warsaw Ghetto.

She was caught, and the Nazi's broke her leg, her foot, both her arms and beat her severely during torture by the Gestapo in the notorious Pawiak Prison.

Irena kept a record of the names of the kids she smuggled out and kept them in a glass jar, buried under a tree in her back yard. After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived and reunite the family. Unfortunately most had been gassed at Treblinka.

The kids she helped got placed into foster family homes or adopted. A few of them kept in touch with her the rest of their lives.

In 2007 Irena was up for the Nobel Peace Prize. She was not selected.

Al Gore won, for a slide show on Global Warming.

We have not learned anything.

To read more about this heart rending story, click here or on the title above.


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