Irena Sendler
                                       World War 2 & The role Irena played 


                          “Let me stress most emphatically that we 
              who were rescuing children are not some kind of heroes.
                           Indeed, that term irritates me greatly.
             The opposite is true. I continue to have pangs of conscience
                                            that I did so little.
- Words of Irena


          September 1st, 1939 began World War II. Nazi, Germany invaded places like Poland and Europe where the Jews lived. The Nazi soldiers took the Jews out of their homes and brought them to Concentration Camps. At the Concentration Camp Jews were either sent to the right side or left side. The right side meant they were to stay alive and work and the left side meant they were going it the gas showers to die.


        During the war, Irena Sender worked for the Polish underground Zegota. The underground Zegota was formed to help Jewish children hide from the Nazis. Irena had an advantage to help the underground Zegota because Irena was a health worker she was able to go into the Ghettoes (where the Germans kept the Jews) and help the Jewish children by giving them food and shelter.


         Irena formed a group with a twenty five other workers and decided that they were going to save Jewish children that were suffering in the ghettos. During this process Irena used a code name for herself. She was called Jolanta. Irena needed to come up with an idea for getting the children out of the Ghettos. Irena and the rest of the people who volunteered to help decided that they were going to smuggle out the children.   


         As Irena was taking the kids away from their parents and bring their kids to a safe place, Irena wrote all the information of that child on a piece of paper. Irena did this because after the war she wanted as many kids as there could be to reunite with their parents. All the information about the children she took she put in a glass jar. They buried it under her friend’s tree.


        Irena and her helpers had to come up with plans of how to smuggle the Jewish children out of the ghettos because the Germen soldiers watched what they did. Five of the main ways they would smuggle the kids out were, they would use an ambulance and put the kids under the stretcher, sneak the kids out through the court house, they went through the sewer pipes, or got carried out in a sack, trunk or suite case.


         After the children were out of the ghetto, Irena would bring the children to religious establishments. Irena said that she knew she could count on the sisters of the church for help. The children were given false identities and placed in homes, orphanages and convents. 


         On October 20th, 1943 Irena was arrested by the Germans for saving Jewish children. Irena was put in Piawiak prison were she was tortured and fractured both of her feet and both of her hands. At Piawiak prison they constantly asked her who were the other people who were In the Zegota and where they lived. Irena told them all the names and addresses that all of the Zegota members planned to say if anyone got arrested or caught. A few weeks later they sentenced her to be shot. A Zegota member bribed a German and he helped the Zegota members rescue Irena. The next day the Germans made signs and posters saying that Irena died.


       For the rest of the war Irena lived hiding just like the children she saved. Irena was the only person who knew where the kids where. When the war was over Irena dug up the glass jars she had put under the tree and started to look for the children who she saved parents. Irena saved 2,500 kids during the war.