Saturday, October 14, 2017

The story of Irena Sendler

The story of Irena Sendler

I have no snark on this one. I know I'm being more serious than usual, but this is an inspiring story of a truly great human being.

Because of a very famous movie, you know the story of Oskar Schindler. You probably never heard of Irena Sendler, who saved twice as many lives as Schindler, and did a boatload more for her country and humanity both during and after the war. She, and the organization she headed, smuggled about 2500 children out of the Warsaw ghetto, including 400 smuggled by Irena herself. She taught some Jewish children a group of Catholic prayers to fool the Nazis at a key border point, and lugged other children out in a gunny sack. (No small task. She was 4'11".)

She lived nearly a century, until 2008, in relative obscurity until some students in Kansas discovered her and wrote a short play about her as a class project in 1999, not realizing at first that she was still alive.

Kudos, Kansas kids! As of 1994, an internet search for Irena turned up one result. Today there are nearly 500,000.

In 2007, when Irena was obviously nearing the end of her courageous life, many Poles and Israelis campaigned to award her the Nobel Peace Prize, but she was not selected.

(It went to Al Gore.)

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