Irena Sendler A Woman Of Inspiration Life In A Jar


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Irena Sendler A Woman Of Inspiration Life In A Jar

  1. 1. quot;Every child saved with my help is the justification of my existence on this Earth, and not a title to gloryquot; —Letter to Polish Parliament The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler 5/2/2009 1
  2. 2. 15 February 1910 Born Warsaw, Congress Poland, Russian Empire 12 May 2008 (aged 98) Died Warsaw, Poland Social worker, humanitarian Occupation 5/2/2009 2
  3. 3. Irena Sendler (in Polish Irena Sendlerowa née Krzyżanowska; 15 February 1910 – 12 May 2008) was a Polish Catholic social worker who served in the Polish Underground and the Żegota resistance organization in German-occupied Warsaw during World War II. 5/2/2009 3
  4. 4. Jewish children in the Warsaw Ghetto Assisted by some two dozen other Żegota members, Sendler saved 2,500 Jewish children by smuggling them out of the Warsaw Ghetto, providing them false documents, and sheltering them in individual and group children's homes outside the Ghetto. 5/2/2009 4
  5. 5. Irena sympathized with Jews from childhood. Her great-grandfather had been deported to Siberia by Czarist Russia. Her physician father had died in 1917 of typhus contracted while treating Jewish patients. She opposed the ghetto- bench system that existed at some prewar Polish universities, and because of this she was suspended for three years from Warsaw University 5/2/2009 5
  6. 6. As early as 1939, when the Germans invaded Poland, she began aiding Jews. She and her helpers created over 3,000 false documents to help Jewish families, prior to joining the organized Żegota resistance and the children's division. Helping Jews was very risky— in German-occupied Poland, all household members risked death if they were found to be hiding Jews, a more severe punishment than in other occupied European countries. Nazi German poster in German and Polish (Warsaw, 1942) threatening death to any Pole who aided Jews 5/2/2009 6
  7. 7. quot;Anchorquot; Flag/ quot;PWquot; Polska Walczy (Poland Fights) In December 1942 the newly created Żegota (the Council to Aid Jews) nominated her (by her cover name Jolanta) to head its children's section. As an employee of the Social Welfare Department, she had a special permit to enter the Warsaw Ghetto to check for signs of typhus, something the Nazis feared would spread beyond the Ghetto. During these visits, she wore a Star of David as a sign of solidarity with the Jewish 5/2/2009 7 people and so as not to call attention to herself.
  8. 8. She cooperated with the Children's Section of the Municipal Administration, linked with the RGO (Central Welfare Council), a Polish relief organization that was tolerated under German supervision. She organized the smuggling of Jewish children out of the Ghetto, carrying them out in boxes, suitcases and trolleys. Under the pretext of conducting inspections of sanitary conditions during a typhoid outbreak, Sendler visited the Ghetto and smuggled out babies and small children in ambulances and trams, sometimes disguising them as packages. She also used the old courthouse at the edge of the Warsaw Ghetto (still standing) as one of the main routes 5/2/2009 8 for smuggling out children.
  9. 9. The children were placed with Polish families, the Warsaw orphanage of the Sisters of the Family of Mary, or Roman Catholic convents such as the Little Sister Servants of the Blessed Virgin Mary Conceived Immaculate at Turkowice and Chotomów. Some children were smuggled to priests in parish rectories. She hid lists of their names in jars in order to keep track of their original and new identities. Żegota assured the children that, when the war was over, they would be returned to Jewish relatives. 5/2/2009 9
  10. 10. Sendler with some children she saved, Warsaw, 2005 5/2/2009 10
  11. 11. In 1943 Sendler was arrested by the Gestapo, severely tortured, and sentenced to death. Żegota saved her by bribing German guards on the way to her execution. She was left in the woods, unconscious and with broken arms and legs. She was listed on public bulletin boards as among those executed. For the remainder of the war, she lived in hiding, but continued her work for the Jewish children. After the war, she dug up the jars containing the children's identities and attempted to find the children and return them to their parents. However, almost all of their parents had been killed at the 5/2/2009 11 Treblinka extermination camp or had gone missing otherwise.
  12. 12. Irena in 1943 after her escape from Pawiak prison. 5/2/2009 12
  13. 13. In 1965 Sendler was recognized by Yad Vashem as one of the Righteous Among the Nations, which was confirmed in 1983 by the Israeli Supreme Court. She also was awarded the Commander's Cross by the Israeli Institute. It was only that year that the Polish communist government allowed her to travel abroad, to receive the award in Israel. 5/2/2009 13 Sendler's tree at Yad Vashem
  14. 14. The “Life in a Jar” Play 270 Presentations & Counting In 1999, Megan Stewart and her friends were inspired, by their high school history teacher Norman Conrad in southeast Kansas, to investigate a small clipping on the life of an unsung hero, Irena Sendler. When the students began their research, they found a website that mentioned her. Based on their findings, the students created a play, Life in a Jar (after her hiding place for documents). After ten years, their play and the subsequent media attention had made her world-famous. Life in a Jar/The Irena Sendler Project has created a teacher's award in the United States and Poland for the outstanding teacher in Holocaust Education. The members of the project are now working with the Children of the Holocaust Organization in Warsaw on the creation of a statue in her honour, to be 5/2/2009 14 completed on her birthday in 2010.
  15. 15. In 2007 considerable publicity accompanied Sendler's nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. While failed nominations for the award have not been officially announced by the Nobel organization for 50 years, the International Peace Research Institute, Oslo, reported in 2007 that Irena Sendler's nominator had made the nomination public. Regardless of its legitimacy, talk of the nomination focused a spotlight on Sendler and her wartime achievements. (The 2007 award went to Al Gore, former Vice President of the United States, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate 5/2/2009 15 Change.)
  16. 16. In 2005, Anna Mieszkowska wrote the biography Mother of the Children of the Holocaust: The Irena Sendler Story. It was adapted for a Hallmark Hall of Fame production entitled The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler. On April 19, 2009, The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler, a Hallmark Hall of Fame production written and directed by John Kent Harrison and starring Anna Paquin in the title role, was broadcast by CBS 5/2/2009 16
  17. 17. Irena Sendler funeral, 2008 5/2/2009 17
  18. 18. In Memoriam Irena Sendlerowa 1910-2008 18 5/2/2009
  19. 19. Sources: Trinity 5/2/2009 19