Saturday, September 3, 2011

Inspiring Lady to Remember


The world hasn't just become wicked...it's always been wicked!
The prize doesn't always go to the most deserving.

We have all heard of Mother Teresa...
I ask, “Have you heard of Irena Sendler?”
A True Hero!

There recently was a death of a 98 year-old lady named Irena.
Her endeavours, sent to me from a friend, I wish to share with you.

Irena Sendler (nee Krzyzanowski)
February 15, 1910 ~ May 12, 2008

Early Life: Her father, Stanislaw Krzyzanowski, was a physician. Sendler sympathized with Jews from childhood...since many of his patients were Jews. Irena was a Polish Catholic social worker who served in the Polish Underground and the Zegota resistance organization in German-occupied Warsaw during WWII. As early as 1939 she and her helpers created over 3,000 false documents
to help Jewish families. This was very risky...in German-occupied Poland. All household members risked death if they were found to be hiding Jews, a more severe punishment than in other occupied European countries. Warsaw's Municipal Social Services department, a Polish relief organization,
was tolerated under German supervision.

During WWII, Irena received permission to work in the Warsaw ghetto...under the pretext of conducting inspections of sanitary conditions during a typhus outbreak, then as a Plumbing and Sewer specialist. She had an 'ulterior motive'. She KNEW what the Nazi's plans were for the Jews (being German).

Irena smuggled infants out in the bottom of the tool box she carried; also, in the back of her truck was a a burlap sack (for larger kids). She also had 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 kids'/infants' noises.

These children were placed with Polish families, the Warsaw orphanage of the Sisters of the Family of Mary, or Roman Catholic convents such as the Little Sister Servants of the Blessed Virgin Mary Conceived Immaculate. She rescued between 250 to 550 Jewish children in different education and care facilities.

During her time of doing this, she managed to smuggle out and save 2500 kids/infants. She was arrested in 1943...and the Nazis broke both her legs, arms and beat her severely.

Irena kept a record of the names of all the kids she smuggled out
and kept them in a glass jar buried under a tree in her back yard.

After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived and reunited the family. Most had been gassed. Those kids she helped
were placed into foster family homes and adopted.

Awards: In 1965, Sendler was recognized by Yad Vashem
as one of the Righteous among the Nations.
She also was awarded the Commander's Cross by the Israeli Institute.

In 2001, Pope John II sent Sendler a personal letter, praising her wartime efforts. On October 10, 2003, she received the Order of the White Eagle
~ Poland's highest civilian decoration, 
and the Jan Karski Award “For Courage and Heart”,
given by the American Center of Polish Culture
in Washington, D. C. 
On March 14, 2007, Sendler was honoured by Poland's Senate.

Last year, Irena was up for the Nobel Peace Prize... She was not selected, unfortunately!
President Obama won one year before becoming President
for his work as a community organizer for ACORN
and
Al Gore won also...for a slide show on Global Warming.

In May 2009, Irena Sendler was posthumously granted the
Audrey Hepburn Humanitarian Award...named in honour of the late actress
and UNICEF ambassador...presented to persons and organizations
recognized for helping children.

It is now more than 60 years after the Second World War in Europe ended.
Let us remember: SIX Million Jews...TWENTY Million Russians...
TEN Million Christians and NINETEEN HUNDRED Catholic priests
were murdered, massacred, raped, burned, starved and humiliated!

Now, more than ever, with Iran and others claiming
the HOLOCAUST to be “a myth”,
it's imperative to make sure the world never forgets,
because there are others who would like to do it again.

Merle Baird-Kerr
written August 25, 2011

I highly recommend you Google ... "The Irena Sendler Project ...by students of a rural Kansas High School called 'Life in a Jar'.

4 comments:

  1. You, Merle are an Inspiring Lady to write of this Heroine whom many did not know of ! She Truly knew her calling and performed it well. So nice of you to acknowledge her and the other Gentleman Hero, A.B.Simpson. Happy Labour Day Weekend to you All.
    G.S.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you GS for your very sensitive comment. In my mind, I question if "I would be hero-enough" to do as Irena did.
    THIS is what is So Significant...at the time of Need, one recognizes an Immediate Response is necessary...without
    considering Risk or Danger!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am constantly amazed at the wide range of subjects you provide for our interests.
    Placing this wonderful woman and her exploits, in the face of her life threatening actions, is nothing short of miraculous to have survived to this day. Her accolades being recorded here, are only valued more for her praise, accompanied with your own,for this heartfelt posting.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It amazed me that Irena lived to be 92! and pleased that she did receive recognitions for her wartime endeavors.
    It is significant to note that "an ordinary person"
    can "do something extra-ordinary"...seeing a desperate need and acting upon it.
    Thank you Sol

    ReplyDelete