History's HEROES? 1910 - 2008

Irena Sendlerowa

Should Irena Sendlerowa be considered a hero?

Below are some of the main arguments that have been put forward about whether Irena Sendlerowa should be regarded as a hero. Drop and drag the ones you agree with onto the scales. You can also add some of your own arguments.

Arguments for
  • Irena Sendlerowa showed great courage and love.
    She placed the importance of the lives of those she rescued above the risk to her own life.
  • She had great respect for all people, regardless of race, religion and creed.
    She said: "I was brought up to believe that a person must be rescued when drowning, regardless of religion and nationality."
  • She showed immense leadership and ingenuity.
    She was a good organiser. She had to smuggle the children out, provide them with false papers, find safe houses, and then find more permanent homes where the children were welcome.
  • She had to deal with many terrible dilemmas.
    Which children to take, how to persuade their parents to let them go, how to make sure they stayed safe.
  • She stood firm under torture even when her legs and feet were broken in an effort to get her to betray her cause.
    She said: "I still carry the marks on my body of what those 'German supermen' did to me then."
  • She was modest about her achievements and wanted no acclaim.
    She returned to normal life after the war and did not seek any glory for her actions
Arguments against
  • She was forthright and single-minded.
    She really enjoyed the feeling of being in charge and organising others.

Arguments for:

    Arguments against:

      Now that you have seen the arguments for and against, you can

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