Irena Sendler was born on the 15th of February, 1910 in Warsaw, Poland. She was seven years old when her father passed away. Before the man left the world, he taught her a valuable life lesson – to always help people in times of need. Her amazing life’s work seemed to be forgotten by history, until recently. Irena had a deep interest in medicine thanks to her father, one of the most well-respected doctors at that time. After becoming a licensed nurse, she began working with the Warsaw Social Welfare Department, near one of the worst areas for Jewish families during World War II – the Warsaw Ghetto.
Irena gave out food, clothing, and other essential items to the needy. Even though she was a devout Catholic, she helped the Jewish people who were in dire need. While working near the Warsaw Ghetto, she was introduced to an underground resistance organization called “Zegota.” What this group tried to do was free the Jews from the ghettos before they were taken to death camps. Irena along with the help of other members tried to sneak out Jewish children from the ghettos. While some parents were a little hesitant, others allowed her to free their children to safety.
Irena saved countless Jewish children from the Nazi and helped them to escape punishment. When she was trying to sneak some children over the border into the free “Aryan land,” she was caught by the Nazis. Some of her friends helped her escape from the prison, but both of her arms got broken due to the interrogations from commanding officers. Irena spent the rest of her life, living under an assumed name and running from Nazi persecution. Although she was in danger, she got back home to retrieve something that would help the children she saved one more time. She wrote the name of every kid she hid in the metal cans in her neighbor’s yard. Irena dug up the cans once the war was over, and helped the kids reunite with their families. Many passed away due to the disease in the ghetto, but several had a reunion thanks to her.
Before she passed away at 98 years of age, she had the chance to meet with the families she helped during her years with Zegota. This brave woman is a huge inspiration to everyone. Let us all thank her for her hard work from the bottom of our hearts.
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