The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler

by Laura on 05/15/2010 · 20 comments

Not long ago, I rewatched The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler, a Hallmark Hall of Fame production originally broadcast by CBS on April 19, 2009. It is based on the biography written by Anna Mieszkowska, Mother of the Children of the Holocaust: The Irena Sendler Story.

Irena Sendler’s story is almost unbelievable, but it is true.

During World War II, she was an activist of the Polish anti-Holocaust resistance in Warsaw, where she helped to save more than 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto by providing them with false documents and hiding places in individual and group homes outside of the Ghetto.

Irena Irena SendlerSendler got permission to work in the Warsaw Ghetto as a plumber. She courageously smuggled babies in her tool box and carried larger children in her sack. She also trained her dog to bark when the Nazi soldiers were near, which muffled the sounds of the crying children.

Sendler kept a record of the children’s names in a glass jar buried under a tree in her yard.

Ultimately, the soldiers caught and beat her severely, breaking both of her legs. She persevered and attempted to connect any parents with their children, yet most of the parents had been killed. Most of the children were placed into foster family homes or adopted.

The most amazing part of the story: Two years ago, Sendler was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize but was not selected.

Al Gore won for his presentation on global warming. (Laura’s note: I have nothing against Al Gore).

Sendler died in 2008. What I learned: These are the stories that we must keep telling.

You can read more about Sendler here:

What stories, in your opinion, do we need to keep telling more of?

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle May 17, 2010 at 4:18 PM

Wow. This is a really interesting story. Thanks for sharing it!


Laura May 19, 2010 at 9:05 AM

Thanks Michelle! Appreciate your comment :)


Themoma May 19, 2010 at 3:52 PM

It is people like Irena Sendler that make a great difference in our world. Very interesting and sometimes heartbreaking story. Thank you Laura


Laura Cococcia May 19, 2010 at 8:56 PM

Thanks Mom :)


Allen Clark February 27, 2011 at 6:58 AM

It sure doesn’t say much for the Nobel Peace Prize selection committee to have awarded
the Nobel Peace Prize to the likes of Al Gore and Barack Obama over Irena


Mike L Moore December 28, 2011 at 9:27 AM

What a heroine! Amazing! Amen Allen Clark!


Lucie garcia February 20, 2012 at 2:09 PM

Wow stories like these never fail to give me chills!!! We need more people like irena sendler in this world !!!


jed hill March 1, 2012 at 4:43 PM

A true unassuming HERO.The powers that be where the Nobel prize are concerned should be ashamed of themselves.Pandering to wealthy politicians,instead of recognising true courage!


Marilyn Krzus March 14, 2012 at 10:08 PM

It’s difficult to imagine risking death to save the lives of people you do not know–I’m quite positive I could not do it. But she saved soooo many. How does one come to be so brave? Is it a gene? Is it a heart too big to stop the love with your own extended family? How I admire Irena! I understand that the Nobel is often given to those who agree with the Nobel committee’s political and environmental leanings. Too bad; they gave the prizes to people who had not saved a single life. That is a shame. It’s a dirty rotten shame. Someone should let Irena know, if she is still alive, that though the Nobel committee was more interested in butterflies Al Gore may have saved, the rest of us are more impressed with all the human lives she saved. We hereby grant Irena a humanitarian award from the hearts of people around the world. Congratulations, Irena!


Bill Wooten November 27, 2012 at 7:22 AM

Funny how some focus on Al Gore and President Obama when the Noble Committee have ignored this woman for DECADES.


Sam November 27, 2012 at 7:47 AM

Just wanted to thank you for bringing this heartwarming yet tragic story to my attention.

Subscribing to your blog :)

Reply November 28, 2012 at 1:43 PM

” The president also mentions that he was in charge of two wars when he received the peace prize in the first place. One of the comments I’ve seen is that he was nominated before February 1 of this year. Relationships amongst people are difficult but they are oh, so valuable and rewarding.´s last blog post


Tandra January 10, 2013 at 8:21 PM

Wow. What an amazing story. 2,500 children!

It’s so important that we keep telling these stories, especially with that generation of adults and children aging and dying. Only if we know can we prevent something so horrific from happening again.


wendy finlayson March 13, 2013 at 7:33 PM

what an amazing , brave lady


Melissa Tenneson October 26, 2013 at 7:47 AM

I just wanted to let everyone know that as far as my sources tell me, she did not mascarade as a plumber. She got in as a health care worker:
Not that it makes what she did any less amazing, because of course she is still AMAZING! I just want everyone to have all the facts. I love this woman and wish I could have met her before she passed on. She suffered so much and gave lives to so many. She was and is an angel!


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