Irena Sendler was born in Warsaw, Poland February 15, 1910.
Her father taught her many things as a child – but it was amotto she would always carry with them: always helping the needy.
When Irena was only seven years old, her father died of typhus. But the years she had with her father would come to have an enormous influence on her.
As she grew older, she followed in his father’s footsteps. The father, who was a doctor, inspired Irena.
She was employed as a social worker in Warsaw Welfare Ministry, where she helped arrange food and clothing to families in need.
At that time the persecution of the Jews living in many parts of Europe, but Irena – even though she was a devout Catholic – refused to give in to prejudices. She helped several Jewish families, in the same way as she did everyone else.
Shortly after the Second World War the Nazis created the Warsaw Ghetto, where Jewish families were interned.
The Ghetto was the largest Jewish ghetto established by the Nazis and most lived around half a million Jews within the walls.
The fear-filled life in the area was characterized by overcrowding, hunger, insecurity and diseases.
IRENA, which was concerned at the appalling living conditions, decided to get involved.
She joined Zegota, a Polish secret resistance movement who worked to save Jews. Irena realized that she needed to do something – even if it also constituted a risk to her own life.
Together with other colleagues, she began secretly helping Jewish children to escape from the ghetto.
Most of gettos residents underwent a certain death, either by being murdered inside the walls or by deportation to concentration camps.
Irena visited many Jewish homes and families, but even if she had good intentions, there were mothers who refused to surrender their children to a stranger.
Since the Nazis had a very strong surveillance and monitoring of the ghetto, Irena was forced to find creative ways to hide the children, so that they could escape.
One way was to go in with the ambulance and pretend to get very seriously ill patients and bring them to other hospitals. But as the increased surveillance, where Irena had to hide the children in bags, garbage bags and coffins.
Especially a rescue stuck out when a little baby named Eluzina rescued. Irena hid the baby in a wooden box, which was actually supposed to transport bricks.
The girl, just be five months, could be brought to safety. The only thing she had with him was a small silver spoon, as her mother had hidden in her clothes.
More than 2,500 children were saved in this way. Irena also brought a record of all the children she brought to safety.The list was hidden in cans, buried in a neighbor’s garden.
Her plan went well until one day, when everything uppdages: The Nazis discovered what she was doing and grabbed enne.
Irena was sent to prison, where she was tortured by the Gestapo and had both arms broken. But despite the pain and terror, she resisted and refused to give any information about the children or their families.
Eventually gave up the Nazis and sentenced her to death.But fate had other plans for IRENA.
Some of IRENA aides managed to bribe one of the soldiers in the prison, as her hero to escape.
From that day – until his death many years later – Irena lived under a false identity. But she never stopped helping others.
“The hatred against the German occupiers was stronger than fear. In addition, my father had taught me to reach out to a drowning man. Then it was Poland who was drowning, “said Irena in an interview with Sydsvenskan .
When the war ended, revealed Irena its records of all the children she rescued. She handed over the list to a räddningskommité, who helped Jewish families to reunite.
Later in life she married and had three children. Irena lived a happy life, knowing that she had done the right thing.
“The reason why I rescued children from my childhood, how I grew up. I have been brought up to help others, then do not play religion or nationality in any role, “says Irena.
After working so hard to help others throughout their lives, Irena died at the age of 98th
In many ways, she was a forgotten hero and there were not many people knew about her deed.
1964 was awarded Irena Sendler Israeli honorary title of “Righteous Among the Nations” and in 1997 she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
The price, however, went to Al Gore, environmental activist and former presidential candidate.
Irena was not very grudging – she chose instead to pay tribute to some others.
However, there are some who would never forget her contribution.
“Now both the children and grandchildren of those I rescued and see me,” said Irena.
This wonderful and courageous woman, with a heart of gold, we must never forget!
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