Polish Holocaust Hero, Irena Sendler, Dies at 98

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by v2, May 12, 2008.

  1. v2

    v2 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2005
    Messages:
    5,943
    Likes Received:
    626
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cracow
    WARSAW, Poland — Irena Sendler, a Polish social worker who organized the rescue of some 2,500 Jewish children from the Nazis and was later honored by Israel's Yad Vashem memorial, has died.

    Sendler's daughter, Janina Zgrzembska, told The Associated Press her mother died at a Warsaw hospital Monday morning. She was 98.

    Sendler had lived at a Warsaw nursing home run by the Catholic Brothers of St. John of God since 2003, but had been in the hospital since last month with pneumonia.

    Sendler was born Irena Krzyzanowska in Warsaw on Feb. 15, 1910. As a social worker with Warsaw's welfare department, Sendler masterminded risky rescue operations of Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto during Nazi Germany's brutal World War II occupation.

    Records show Sendler's team of some 20 people saved almost 2,500 children from the Warsaw Ghetto between October 1940 and April 1943, when the Nazis burned the ghetto, shooting the residents or sending them to death camps.

    Under the pretext of inspecting the ghetto's sanitary conditions during a typhoid outbreak, Sendler and her assistants entered in search of children who could be smuggled out and be given a chance to survive by living as Catholics.

    Babies and small children were smuggled out in ambulances and in trams, sometimes wrapped up as packages. Teenagers escaped by joining teams of workers forced to labor outside the ghetto. They were placed in families, orphanages, hospitals or convents.

    In hopes of one day uniting the children with their families — most of whom perished in the Nazis' death camps — Sendler wrote the children's real names on slips of paper that she kept at home.

    When German police came to arrest her in 1943, an assistant managed to hide the slips — which Sendler later buried in a jar under an apple tree in an associate's yard. Some 2,500 names were recorded.

    "It took a true miracle to save a Jewish child," Elzbieta Ficowska, who was saved by Sendler's team as a baby in 1942, recalled in an interview with The Associated Press in 2007. "Mrs. Sendler saved not only us, but also our children and grandchildren and the generations to come."

    After World War II, Sendler worked as a social welfare official and director of vocational schools, continuing to assist some of the children she rescued.

    In 1965, Sendler became one of the first so-called Righteous Gentiles that the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem honored for wartime heroics. Poland's communist leaders at that time would not allow her to travel to Israel, and she collected the award only in 1983.

    Despite the Yad Vashem honor, Sendler largely remained forgotten in her homeland. Only in her final years, confined to a nursing home, did she finally become one of Poland's most respected figures, with President Lech Kaczynski and other politicians backing a campaign that put her name forward for the Nobel Peace Prize.

    :salute:
     
  2. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2004
    Messages:
    19,419
    Likes Received:
    137
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    Network Engineer/Photographer
    Location:
    Moorpark, CA
    Home Page:
  3. Heinz

    Heinz Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Messages:
    7,731
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    Student, Musician, Writer, Thinker, Shelf Stacker...
    Location:
    Melbourne, Victoria
  4. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Messages:
    23,053
    Likes Received:
    994
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Animal Control Officer
    Location:
    Southern New Jersey
  5. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Messages:
    6,977
    Likes Received:
    570
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Bioinformatician
    Location:
    Dordrecht
  6. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2005
    Messages:
    47,757
    Likes Received:
    1,538
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    A retired military Navigator/ATC, FIS controller
    Location:
    Poland
  7. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    41,771
    Likes Received:
    687
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    A&P - Aircraft Technician
    Location:
    USA/Germany
  8. seesul

    seesul Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Messages:
    3,519
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Zlin, Czech Republic
    Home Page:
    Saw a document about her on our TV yesterday. Very impresive!
    God bless her!
     
  9. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2006
    Messages:
    51,197
    Likes Received:
    848
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Adelaide Sth. Aust.
  10. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Messages:
    12,162
    Likes Received:
    123
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    The back of beyond
  11. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    Messages:
    3,099
    Likes Received:
    28
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Occupation:
    Substitute teacher; graduate student
    Location:
    Connecticut, United States
Loading...

Share This Page