Saturday, 20 March 2010 21:59
Irena Sendler (née Krzyżanowska, in Poland commonly referred to as Irena Sendlerowa, 15 February 1910 – 12 May 2008) was a Polish Catholic social worker who served in the Polish Underground and the Żegota resistance organization in German-occupied Warsaw during World War II. Assisted by some two dozen other Żegota members, Sendler saved 2,500 Jewish children by smuggling them out of the Warsaw Ghetto, providing them with false documents, and sheltering them in individual and group children's homes outside the Ghetto.
Irena sympathized with Jews from childhood. Her physician father died in 1917 of typhus contracted while treating Jewish patients. She opposed the ghetto-bench system that existed at some prewar Polish universities and as a result was suspended from Warsaw University for three years.