I’ve done several posts on heroes in our military – William T. Ryder (Army’s first paratrooper), Slade Deville Cutter (whom my dad served with), and Richard O’Kane (an US Navy submarine commander in WWII). I’d like to introduce to another hero – a civilian hero of WWII.
Irena Sendler 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. Assisted by some two dozen other Żegota members, Sendler saved 2,500 Jewish children by smuggling them out of the Warsaw Ghetto, providing them with false documents, and sheltering them in individual and group children’s homes outside the Ghetto.
During WWII, Irena got permission to work in the Warsaw ghetto, as a plumbing/sewer specialist. She had an ‘ulterior motive’. She KNEW what the Nazi’s plans were for the Jews. Irena smuggled infants out in the bottom of the tool box she carried in the back of her truck a burlap sack, (for larger kids). She also had a dog in the back that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto. The soldiers of course wanted nothing to do with the dog and the barking covered the kids/infants noises.
During her time of doing this, she managed to smuggle out and save 2,500 kids/infants. She was caught, and the Nazi’s broke both her legs, arms and beat her severely. Irena kept a record of the names of all the kids she smuggled out and kept them in a glass jar, buried under a tree in her back yard. After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived and reunite families. Most had been gassed. Those kids she helped got placed into foster family homes or adopted.
Irena was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. She was not selected. President Obama won a Nobel Peace Prize for whatever, and Al Gore won also — for a slide show on Global Warming.
It is now more than 60 years after WWII in Europe ended. This was sent in an e-mail as a memorial chain, in memory of the six million Jews, 20 million Russians, 10 million Christians and 1,900 Catholic priests who were murdered, massacred, raped, burned, starved and humiliated! Now, more than ever, with Iran , and others, claiming the HOLOCAUST to be ‘a myth’, it is imperative to make sure the world never forgets, because there are others who would like to do it again.
And hopefully there will be more people like Irena willing to do good. What a brave woman Irena was to risk her life and save those Jewish children. Not military herself – yet surely a hero to remember.