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Today in Jewish History - October 20 / Cheshvan 11

1943 October 20, IRENA SENDLER (Warsaw, Poland)

Irena Sendler
Courtesy of The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous Photo Archives
A Polish Catholic, was arrested by the Gestapo. Irena had worked for the Council for Aid to Jews, (Zegota), an underground unit in which Catholic democratic activists gathered to assist Jews. At great risk, Irena (1910-2008) rescued 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw ghetto and placed them with Christian families. She buried jars containing their real and assumed names in the garden, so that they could be reunited with their own families after the war. During her torture she refused to divulge any information regarding her activities Although sentenced to death, she managed to escape from prison and survived the war. In 1965 she was awarded with the title Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem and in 1991 she was made an honorary citizen of Israel. A play was also written about her life entitled "Life in a Jar".rnrn

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