Irena Sendler was a Polish woman who singlehandedly saved the lives of approximately 2,500 Jewish children during the Holocaust. By comparison, the heroic Oskar Schindler, who inspired the film "Schindler's List," saved approximately 1,100 people. Sendler, who was not Jewish, was shocked and disturbed at what was happening around her in the Warsaw Ghetto in 1939, so she forged a pass to go into the ghetto every day, and convinced parents to let her smuggle their children out for a better chance at keeping them safe. She gave the children new names and places to stay (orphanages, churches, convents, new homes, etc.). She wrote down the old and new information of the children and put it in jars that she buried under a tree. The Nazis discovered her operation in 1943 and took her prisoner, breaking her feet and legs in an effort to gain information about the children, but Sendler told them nothing. She was sentenced to death, but was saved by the Polish underground. After the war, she dug up the jars to hopefully reunite the children with their families. In 2000, a group of students in Kansas stumbled upon a fact about Sendler during research for a school project, and couldn't believe she was so unknown. From there, they eventually got in contact with Sendler, who was quietly living in Warsaw. The students heard the full story of Sendler, and wrote a play about her life entitled "Life In A Jar."
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Written by Curiosity Staff June 28, 2016
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