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A Heroine Of the Holocaust: Irena Sendler

Updated on March 2, 2013
GarnetBird profile image

Gloria taught for many years, and also worked as a mental health group facilitator.

Irena Sendler as she looked in 2008.
Irena Sendler as she looked in 2008.
A notice from World War II, promising death and torture to anyone who helped the Jews.
A notice from World War II, promising death and torture to anyone who helped the Jews.
Ms. Sendler with some of the children--now adults--she saved from the Death Camps.
Ms. Sendler with some of the children--now adults--she saved from the Death Camps.

By Gloria Siess {"Garnetbird"}

During the horrific days of the Holocaust, a woman by the name of Irena Sendler did something amazing. While millions of Jews--including children--were routinely taken away to death camps, Ms. Sendler risked her own life to hide them. As early as 1939, she began aiding Jews while the German Army invaded her native Poland. Soon she was put in charge of specifically rescuing Jewish Children by a resistance movement called The Zegota.

Irena Sendler rescued 2,500 Jewish children by cleverly smuggling them out in various ways. Some were secretly put into gunny sacks and transported as baggage. She went into the heart of suffering--the Warsaw Ghetto--and persuaded parents to give up their children in the hopes that they might escape the coming darkness of the Death Camps. Cool, determined and strong under pressure, she was able to slide past the watchful eyes of the Nazis with her precious cargo safe and intact.

Ms. Sendler was a German Roman Catholic, raised to value human life and all religions and races. Her commitment would be horribly tested as she would be captured and tortured by the Nazis. She would never reveal the whereabouts of the children, even under the ghastly devices of the enemy. She died in May of 2008, the scars of interrogation on her body.

Approximately five years ago she was nominated for a Nobel Prize, but did not win. Al Gore won, for his "slide show" presentation of Global Warming.

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      Garnetbird 6 years ago

      Thank you, Tony!

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 6 years ago from South Africa

      Thanks for this inspiring and wonderful story. I read this Hub when you first published it - don't know why I didn't comment then! It inspired me to look into her story which is truly wonderful.

      Love and peace

      Tony

    • ethel smith profile image

      Eileen Kersey 7 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      I had never heard of this lady. Thanks for sharing

    • GarnetBird profile image
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      Gloria Siess 7 years ago from Wrightwood, California

      Thank you--that is how I felt. Global warming is a serious issue, but saving 2500 children from death camps seems to be more significant and personal.

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      Jason Poquette 7 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Great Hub! Time will tell whose contribution was more significant. If I were a betting man, my money would be on Sendler. Well written. Thank you!

    • valeriebelew profile image

      valeriebelew 7 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA

      While I support Al Gore's support of doing something about global warming, what this woman did seems so much more intense to me. Thanks for writing this hub. It is thoughtful and about a very important issue. (: v

    • GarnetBird profile image
      Author

      Gloria Siess 7 years ago from Wrightwood, California

      Thank you, Quill-her story touched me, as I am sure it will others.

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      "Quill" 7 years ago

      What an awesome tribute to a Lady who did what she was called to do, save people. We can not help but wonder what the word recognition means when we read the results of the awards passed out. Pictures or life...?

      Blessings