Although it seems surreal, the story of Irena Sendler fell into oblivion for almost half a century. Her story became popular thanks to a group of students from Kansas (USA), in 1999, who were doing a work on the Holocaust and came across the name of Irena and her great feat..
Her father was a rural doctor who passed away when she was only 7 years old. It was the center of all his motivation and from which he inherited his great courage. He would always remember two rules that he would follow throughout his life: people are divided into good or bad, categorizing them based on their actions and always helping those in need. For this reason, she was a woman always characterized by her discretion, who was limited to doing her job and with what she believed was good for others..
When he was already a certain age, he started working in the social services of the Warsaw city hall. At that time it was the 1930s and his work was well known, which consisted of helping the poor, orphans and the elderly. In those years he would also join the Polish Socialist Party. "She was from the left, yes, but from a left that no longer exists, concerned about people and their well-being ", says her biographer, who points out that she always stayed very far from active politics.
When Germany invaded Poland in 1939, Irena's work became very necessary, as all help was little. This whole picture would change in 1942, when Reich soldiers imprisoned all Warsaw Jews in an area of the city surrounded by a wall, the Warsaw Ghetto, which would be the grave of thousands of people. That is why Irena, like many other Poles, decided to do something about it. In order to gain legal access to the ghetto, Sendler would obtain a pass from the Epidemiological Control department in Warsaw. Thanks to him I would access daily to bring food and medicine.
- Irena managed to get these 2,500 children out of the ghetto in every unimaginable way
Irena managed to get these 2,500 children out of the ghetto in every unimaginable way
In this way, Irena managed to get these 2,500 children out of the ghetto in all unimaginable ways: inside coffins, boxes, garbage remains or as contagious patients. Another way was through a church that communicated the ghetto with the outside world. Children entered the ghetto as Jews and came out the other side as new Catholics. Still, she lamented that she could have done so much more for them and saved more lives..
Once out of the ghetto, it was necessary and vital to get false identity documents and a Catholic name for all these children. Later they were welcomed in monasteries and convents, where they would remain safe. Irena noted the true identities of the children and their locations, which she would guard with great caution under an apple tree located on her neighbor's plot..
Neither the Gestapo torture nor the months she was in Pawlak prison, under German supervision, broke Irena's silence. She did not say a word when they sentenced her to death, a sentence that would never be fulfilled because, on the way to the place of execution, the soldier let her escape because he had been bribed by the resistance, since they could not allow Irena to die taking to the grave the location of all those lost children. This is how he went underground until the end of the war, actively participating in the resistance. After the end of the war, the 2,500 boats hidden in their neighbor's plot were unearthed. This is how the 2,500 children of the ghetto were able to recover their old identities.
Irena Sendler died in Warsaw on May 12, 2008, as a result of pneumonia, at the age of 98. In 2007, she was proposed by the Polish government for the Nobel Peace Prize, which would eventually be awarded to Al Gore. The life of this great woman was brought to the small screen, in a film titled "the courageous heart of Irena Sendler". The feat of this incredible woman will always be remembered, who hated being called a heroine, because she always said that she had only limited herself to doing her job.
Sources: wikipedia, womenofhistory,