The Holocaust is one of the darkest moments of recent history - the images it brings to mind are of segregation, abuse, death camps, mass murder and mass graves. Irena and those like her, who were willing to risk their lives to save others, remind us that humanity exists and can play an important role even in the worst situations.
Irena's compassion and organisational skills saved the lives of 2,500 Jewish children. Many were smuggled from within the Warsaw Ghetto under the noses of the Gestapo. As Elzbieta Ficowska, carried out of the ghetto in a toolbox as a five month-old baby, said:
"It took a true miracle to save a Jewish child...Mrs. Sendlerowa saved not only us but also our children and grandchildren and the generations to come."
This is Irena's legacy to the world.