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Irena Sendler: A Forgotten Heroine Essay

1105 words - 5 pages

One of the greatest, most selfless women in the history of the Holocaust passed away on Monday, May 12th of 2008. A kindhearted Polish woman, she helped 2,500 infants and children escape from the Warsaw Ghetto (Snopes, par. 2) while working undercover as a health worker (Irena Sendler, par. 2). Irena Sendler was an admirable woman who was able to discover children in the Warsaw Ghetto, sneak them out and get them to safety.
Getting into the Warsaw Ghetto regularly was simple for Ms. Sendler. Her father was a doctor outside of Warsaw (Moral Heroes RSS, par. 2). However, he died from typhus while treating Jews that others wouldn’t help (par. 2). Afterwards, Irena and her mother went back to Warsaw, and were gratefully accepted into the community by the Jews there (par. 2). Irena attended college at the Warsaw University (Snopes, par. 6), and then got a job as a health/social worker in order to smuggle the children out (Irena Sendler, par. 7). She managed to get a pass from Warsaws Epidemic Control Department in order to be able to legally enter Warsaw (par. 7). Going into the Ghetto every day, she managed to take food, medication, and other necessities to the Jews trapped inside (par. 7). Irena Sendler, however, also had a secret business of employment. She was part of Zegota, an underground organization in Poland (Snopes, par. 7). This secretive part of her life began in 1942, when it became known to Sendler that the Nazis were up to no good (par. 7). Some of Irena Sendler’s greatest tools were her disguises. She utilized many different containers to transport the children in, including sacks, boxes, suitcases, and more (par. 8). One of her most unique tools to use was the coffin (par. 8). She would even use sedatives on babies so that their crying would not be heard by the enemy (par. 8). Sendler also owned a dog, whom she trained to bark, which distracted the guards at the entrances of the Ghetto, making them unable to hear when the children and babies cried (par. 1 and 2). Her allies on the inside were the people from each of the ten Social Welfare Department centers that she managed to recruit (Home, par. 10). They helped her to get false identifications for the children to use temporarily, which was very beneficial to the children (par. 10). Nearly 2,500 children were given different identities to portray until the end of the war (par. 10). Another ally of Irena Sendler’s were the parents of the children and babies that she smuggled out (Moral Heroes, par. 6). At first, it was difficult to manage to convince the parents of the children to let them go (par. 6). In some cases, the parents would refuse, and the children would be left behind (par. 6). Sendler knew that the whole family would perish eventually - yet she still respected their decisions (par. 6). “We sometimes had to leave those unfortunate families without taking their children from them. I’d go back there the next day and often found that everyone had been taken… to the death...

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