Jun 26 2008

Irena Sendlerowa: Polish social worker nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize

Irena was a Polish social worker and member of the Polish underground and Zegota, the Polish underground anti-Holocaust resistance. She rescued about 2,500 Jewish infants and children from the Warsaw ghetto during World War II. Pretending to be a nurse entering the ghetto to check for diseases, she would leave with infants in suitcases, in her clothing, under bags or even in coffins…anyway she could to save their lives.

Irena worked tirelessly in her quest to save Jewish children from 1940-1943 and her efforts may have even gone unnoticed by the world if not for some students from Kansas who wrote a 10 minute play, called “Life in a Jar”, about her courageous work.

In contrast, Oskar Schindler, a businessman and one time Nazi was immortalized by Steven Speilberg in his oscar winning movie, Schindler’s List.

Why did Speilberg pick Schindler? Maybe he didn’t know about Irena…very few people did know about her courageous rescue of so many children.

I do wonder about the gender issues and the story line…was her story overlooked because Schindler was able to offer a closer look at the disconnected psychosis of the Nazi party?

If you see Speilberg, ask him about it. I may ask him too. I assume he just did not know about Irena.

But, it is also true that she competed with Al Gore for the Nobel Peace Prize. It must have been a great honor for her to be nominated.

There is no way I would have voted for Al Gore over Irena. When their courage and accomplishment are measured against each other, Irena stands high above Gore.

When arrested by the Nazi’s, Irena had both her legs and feet fractured during her extensive torture and did not release any information on her resistance colleagues.

Al Gore was mostly given the positions that made him well known. It is doubtful he did much for his movie, An Inconvenient Truth. Why would the world give him the Nobel prize instead of someone so incredibly worthy like Irena?
I may be cynical, but someone who changes the color of his suit so often when running a campaign for president of the united states somehow does not seem like a decisive person to me.

Also, Al Gore makes made a lot of noise about joining the military and going to Vietnam. However, it is also true that he was a reporter for the military newspaper there and was not a combat soldier fighting in the jungles where no one was safe. Not heroic to me.

If he was against the war, he should have opted to try for a Conscientious Objector status…

Not the quality of person I think worthy of the Nobel Peace prize.

Irena. She is not only decisive, but courageous, brilliant, devoted and totally humble.

She constantly refused to see herself as a hero. She said,

“Heroes do extraordinary things.”…”What I did was not an extraordinary thing. It was normal.”

“I saw the Polish nation drowning… and those in the most difficult position were the Jews. And among them the most vulnerable were the children. So I had to help.”

Irena, a woman of courage and devotion…the type of person who should win the Nobel Peace prize.

Irena, you honor all of us in the helping professions by your shining light.

One response so far

One Response to “Irena Sendlerowa: Polish social worker nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize”

  1. Wilson Hendersonon 10 Jul 2008 at 2:00 pm

    Thank you for writing this article. I agree 100% with your statement.
    Al Gore did nothing compared to what Irena did. When I first heard the story, I did my own research on her and found out what a remarkable woman she was. When I found out that Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize instead of her, I was appalled. I hope that more people discover Irena and her actions and question how a movie about global warming won over saving the lives of 2,500 children from the Nazi’s. I don’t get it? And to add on to how great she was, once the Holocaust was over, she dug up the jar and tried to locate all of the children and tell them who they really were. She even tried to find their real families. What a truly remarkable woman.

    Thank You,

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