History's HEROES? Dated 1910 - 2008

Irena Sendler

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Irena lived in and worked in Poland


  • Saved innocent children
  • Protected Jews
  • Defied a tyranny


  • Brave / Courageous
  • A good and strong leader
  • Clever
  • Good or moral (strong beliefs or principles)
  • Has integrity (stands up for what they believe and act accordingly)
  • Perseverant / Tenacious (keeps going despite challenges)
  • Single minded / Focused (has a purpose)
  • Inspiring / Charismatic
  • Determined
  • Ambitious
  • Wise
  • Honest
  • Kind and compassionate

External link

Life in a Jar Project


"Heros do extraordinary things. What I did was not extraordinary. It was normal" - Irena Sendler

The forgotten heroine of WWII

Irena Sendler saved at least 2,500 Jewish children from the Nazis during WWII, risking death, imprisonment, and torture.

Irena Sendler was born in Poland to Dr.Stanisław Krzyanowski, a physician, and his wife, Janina. At the time when WWII broke out, she was a social worker, but she abandoned her post to save children from the Jewish ghettos that had been set up by the Nazis to contain prisoners. Sendler was barely thirty. She risked her life to smuggle the children out and was imprisoned in October of 1943 for withholding information from the Nazis. In prison, she was tortured and sentenced to execution, but her friends saved her by bribing the guards. It is estimated that Irena and her network saved 2,500 Jewish children. After the war, Sendler tried her best to reconnect all of the children she saved with their relatives, but was often unsuccessful.

Life in Irena Sendler's world

Nazi Germany was a very dangerous place to live, and hiding Jews was the worst crime a person could commit. Irena Sendler was sent to an infamous prison known for its inhumanities, Piawiack prison. The majority of children Irena saved lost one or both parents in the Treblinka death camp.

Was Irena Sendler a Hero?

  • Risked her life

Things you might not know about Irena Sendler

Irena's father died of typhus contracted from one of his poor Jewish patients.
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