Irena Sendler was born at the right time in history. She wanted to follow her father’s footsteps and pursue a career in medicine. When she lost her father at the age of seven, she dedicated her life to helping others- no matter what the cost.
Living in Warsaw, she became a nurse before the start of WWII. As a young nurse, she got assigned to one of the worst places- the Warsaw Ghetto. It was in this horrible place she witnessed the gruesome abuse of the Nazi’s that changed her world views forever.
Irena felt her father’s words and extreme hatred for the German occupiers during this time. Her father had taught her to reach out to a drowning man, even if you can’t swim. It was her beloved Poland that was drowning. Watching the stomach churning attitude of the Nazi’s made her hatred for them become stronger than her fear.
Irena could not stand by and just watch; she reached out to an organization called, Zegota who had made it their mission to free trapped Jews. She joined this band of heroes and entered the ghetto to rescue those being held.
Zegota and Irena helped to rescue thousands of children during this awful time in history. She used her medical knowledge to help the kids regain strength and get them on their feet so they could get out of the city. Irena’s nursing skills helped them to be able to travel to safety.
One of Irena’s most ingenious plans was to hide the children in coffins. Hiding them made it possible to get them out of the ghetto and out to freedom. Irena was eventually caught by the Nazi’s and underwent horrific interrogations. Throughout her torture, she never said a word to the interrogators.
Thankfully Irena was snuck out of her prison. Spending years on the run, she constantly had to stay hidden. Even though she was afraid, Irena returned to her home to save a treasure that would bring closure to all the children she had saved.
Buried inside a tin can, Irena had written down the names of the children she saved. Contacting those children, Irena was able to help them heal even further by bringing closure and answers to that hurting generation of children.
At the age of 98, Irena died a fearless hero.
Watch this mini documentary about her exploits. Trust us, it’s well worth it.