IRENA SENDLER – PARENT HERO
Irena Sendler is a most remarkable woman. 2500 infants and children who were unfortunate enough to live in the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II owe their lives to her heroic efforts. During her 98 years of life she recieved numerous awards and accolades for her work in smuggling children out of the Ghetto. In her words she states, “Every child saved with my help is the justification of my existance on this earth, and not a title to glory.” Her story, however, is exceptional.
Irena was a Polish social worker living in Warsaw during the war. When the Germans invaded Poland, Irena, a Catholic, and other women began helping the Jewish families in Warsaw by providing them with false documents. Through her job with the Social Welfare Department she was able to begin smuggling children and infants out of the Ghetto. The children were placed in Polish homes, convents, rectories, and orphanages from 1942 until the war was over.
Irena took her life into her hands by helping the Jews. She was well aware of the personal danger and consequences at the time. This knowledge did nothing to deter her. In 1943 she was arrested and beaten severely. She was left for dead in the woods with two broken legs and arms. Never-the-less, she continued her work.
She routinely smuggled children in burlap bags, boxes and suitcases right under the noses of German soldiers! She even disguised babies as packages and hid them in her ambulence. She trained a dog to bark at the Nazi Soldiers when they came near her truck. The dog detered the soldiers from searching her truck and she would leave unharmed with the children hidden.
Irena was careful to document all the names of the children she saved. Her hope was to reunite the children with their parents after the war, but sadly most of the parents had been gassed. The children she had helped so heroicaly were placed with foster and adoptive familes. How thankful those parents were to know that their prescious children and babies were going to be cared for and safe. They so willingly and with heart wrenching grief placed them into the caring and capable arms of Irena knowing they would have life and freedom.
There is so much more to Irena Sendlers story. You can view a documentary about her inspiring life at the link below.
http://www.irenasendler.org Click on video.
Irena Sendler Parent Hero.