Lady Arrested for Hiding 2,500 Kids in Coffins During WWII, Years Later True Story Is Out (Part 2)


BY LI YEN, EPOCH TIMES July 17, 2019 Continued from last issue;
“The reason why I rescued children was because of the way I grew up. I was brought up to believe that a person must be rescued when drowning, regardless of religion and nationality,” she added.
Those who were rescued by Sendler did not forget her. “Now both the children and grandchildren of those I rescued come and see me,” she said.
One of the rescued children was Elzbieta Ficowska, who was 5 months old when Sendler smuggled her out of the ghetto in a toolbox on a lorry. “In the face of today’s indifference, the example of Irena Sendlerowa is very important. Irena Sendlerowa is like a third mother to me and many r escued children,” Ficowska said, according to The Guardian.
Because of the Polish Communist regime’s suppression of history and its endorsing of anti-Semitic sentiment, few Poles knew about Zegota’s work. Hence, Sendler’s tale of heroism had been relatively unknown compared to the story of German industrialist Oskar Schindler, who saved more than 1,000 Jews by employing them at his Krakow factory.
Sendler’s story was only made known to the world after four American students in Kansas—Megan Stewart, Liz Cambers, Sabrina Coons, and Jessica Shelton—wrote a play about it titled Life in a Jar.
The schoolgirls learned about Sendler’s bravery on the internet while researching for a National History Day project in September of 1999. They subsequently got in touch with Sendler, who was living in Warsaw.
“My emotion is being shadowed by the fact that no one from the circle of my faithful coworkers, who constantly risked their lives, could live long enough to enjoy all the honors that now are falling upon me….,” Sendler said, as per Life in a Jar website.
In 2003, Sendler received the Jan Karski award for Valor and Courage. In 2007, she was honored as a national hero by the Polish parliament and nominated for the Nobel prize for saving 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw ghetto.
President Lech Kaczynski lauded her as a “great hero who can be justly named for the Nobel peace prize,” adding “she deserves great respect from our whole nation.”
Sendler, however, didn’t think of herself as a hero. “The term ‘hero’ irritates me greatly. The opposite is true. I continue to have pangs of conscience that I did so little,” she said.
On May 12, 2008, Sendler passed away in Warsaw at the age of 98.
Elie Wiesel, a survivor of Auschwitz, author, and Nobel peace laureate, once wrote:
“In those times there was darkness everywhere. In heaven and on earth, all the gates of compassion seemed to have been closed. The killer killed and the Jews died and the outside world adopted an attitude either of complicity or of indifference. Only a few had the courage to care. These few men and women were vulnerable, afraid, helpless – what made them different from their fellow citizens?… Why were there so few?…”
“Let us remember: What hurts the victim most is not the cruelty of the oppressor but the silence of the bystander…. Let us not forget, after all, there is always a moment when a moral choice is made…. And so we must know these good people who helped Jews during the Holocaust. We must learn from them, and in gratitude and hope, we must remember them.”
Irena Sendler’s feats of incredible valor and courage will be remembered for generations.
This article is reprinted with permission from The Epoch Times.