Irena SendlerThere is facebook post on the go, with the intension to ‘Make it Viral’ (and I support this), telling the story of this amazingly courageous woman Irena Sendler
In 1949, at the age of 29, Irena started aiding Jews in German occupied Warsaw. Her work for the Social Welfare department provided a permit to enter the Warsaw Ghetto to check for typhus, a disease that frightened the Germans. She and her helpers smuggled 2500 children out of the Ghetto in bags concealed in their transport, provided them with false documents, and buried their true identities in jars so that they might be reunited with their families. Known by her nom de guerre Jolanta, her actions, inspiration and courage led to her becoming the head of the children’s section of Zegota, the underground Polish Council to aid Jews.
Irena was arrested by the Gestapo in 1943, severely tortured with both arms and both legs broken, and sentenced to death. Listed as dead on the public bulletin boards, she had actually been saved by her friends who bribed the German guards on the way to her execution.
In later years she received many awards. She was recognized by Yad Vashem as one of the Righteous among the Nations, and received the Order of the White Eagle, Poland’s highest civilian decoration. In 2007 Irena was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. She was not selected, Al Gore won for a slide show on Global Warming. Irena died the next year at the age of 98. She is an inspiration to us all.


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