I received the following inspiring story by email recently, and I want to share it with you. The email encourages people to pass the story on to everyone, so please feel free to send a link to your friends:
It took an original play by high school students in Kansas to publicize this remarkable woman’s courageous work. Non-famous people like Irena Sendler are true heroines.
Her achievement went largely unnoticed for many years. Then the story was uncovered by four young students at Uniontown High School in Kansas, who were the winners of the 2000 Kansas state National History Day competition by writing a play, Life in a Jar about the heroic actions of Irena Sendler.
The girls – Elizabeth Cambers, Megan Stewart, Sabrina Coons and Janice Underwood – have since gained international recognition, along with their teacher, Norman Conard. The presentation, seen in many venues in the United States and popularized by National Public Radio, C-SPAN and CBS, has brought Irena Sendler’s story to a wider public. The students continue their prize-winning dramatic presentation, Life in a Jar.
WHAT A WOMAN.
Died: May 12, 2008 (aged 98)
During World War II, Irena got permission to work in the Warsaw ghetto as a Plumbing/Sewer specialist. She had an ulterior motive.
Irena smuggled Jewish infants out in the bottom of the tool box she carried. She also carried a burlap sack in the back of her truck for larger kids.
Irena kept 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 kid’s/infant’s noises.
During her time of doing this, she managed to smuggle out and save 2500 kids and infants.
Ultimately, she was caught, however, and the Nazis broke both of her legs and arms and beat her severely.
Irena kept a record of the names of all the kids she had smuggled out in a glass jar that she buried under a tree in her back yard.
After the war, she tried to locate any parents who may have survived and tried to reunite the family. Most had been gassed. Those kids she helped got placed into foster family homes or adopted.
In 2007 Irena was up for the Nobel Peace Prize. She was not selected. Al Gore won, for a slide show on Global Warming.
Later another politician, Barack Obama, won for his work as a community organizer for ACORN.
The email seeks to point out how superficial and political the Peace Prize has become, and how sad it is that such a heroic woman, who risked her life to save 2500 innocent children, was overlooked.
This is true; however, I think Irena would be happy just to know how many people have heard her story and have been inspired by it.
In MEMORIAM – 65 YEARS LATER:
It is now more than 65 years since the Second World War in Europe ended.
The email I received was being sent as a memorial email chain in memory of the six million Jews, 20 million Russians, 10 million Christians and 1,900 Catholic priests who were murdered or massacred.
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.
For more information on the Irena Sendler Project and Life in a Jar, visit http://www.irenasendlerowa.net/.
Feel free to copy this article and the pictures, paste them into an email, and continue sending Irena’s story to others.