Irena Sendler

  • Holocaust Remembrance Week: 40 Mighty Girl Books About the Holocaust

    A Mighty Girl's top picks of books about the Holocaust for children and teens in recognition of Holocaust Remembrance Week.

    “Silence helps the oppressors.” — Leslie Meisels, Hungarian Holocaust survivor

    In 2017, April 24 marks Holocaust Remembrance Day: Yom HaShoah in Hebrew. Each year, we take time to remember those who died — and those who survived — during the infamous Nazi regime. It is a difficult topic for any of us, but particularly difficult to discuss with children. How do you talk about something so beyond most children’s contemplation in a way that respects the experience of those who lived it?

    Here at A Mighty Girl, we are marking Holocaust Remembrance Week with two blog posts. This post will introduce you to books for all ages that talk about the Holocaust from a variety of perspectives. These books range from picture books to novels, memoirs to fiction, but all of them treat this challenging subject with care and dignity. Our follow-up post, Hope in a Hidden Room: A Mighty Girl Salutes Anne Frank, focuses on Anne Frank, whose diary chronicling the emotional life of a girl in the midst of the Holocaust puts a personal face on what can otherwise seem like distant history to a child growing up today. Continue reading

  • Irena Sendler: The Forgotten Hero of the Warsaw Ghetto

    irena-sendler

    By Carolyn Danckaert, A Mighty Girl Founder

    One of the great heroes of WWII led a secret operation to successfully smuggle 2,500 Jewish children out of the Warsaw Ghetto, saving them from almost certain death, yet few people know the name of this largely unsung hero or have heard Irena Sendler's incredible story. Born in 1910, Sendler was a Polish Catholic nurse and social worker who began aiding Jews as early as 1939 after the Germans invaded Poland. At first, she helped to create false documents for over 3,000 Jewish families and later joined the Zegota, the underground Polish resistance organization created to aid the country's Jewish population.

    In 1943, Sendler became head of Zegota's children's division and used her special access to the Warsaw Ghetto, granted to Social Welfare Department employees to conduct inspections for typhus, to set up a smuggling operation. She and her colleagues began secretly transporting babies and children out of the Ghetto by hiding them in an ambulance with a false bottom or in baskets, coffins, and even potato sacks. The children were then given false identities and placed with Polish families or in orphanages. To allow the children to be reunited with any surviving relatives following the war, Sendler buried lists containing the identities and locations of the children in jars. Continue reading

  • Today in Mighty Girl History: Irena Sendler, Holocaust Rescuer

    irena-sendlerToday in A Mighty Girl history, Irena Sendler, one of the great, unsung heroes of the WWII who led a secret operation to successfully smuggle 2,500 Jewish children out of the Warsaw Ghetto, was born in 1910.

    Sendler was a Polish Catholic nurse and social worker who began aiding Jews as early as 1939 after the Germans invaded Poland. At first, she helped to create false documents for over 3,000 Jewish families and later joined the Zegota, the underground Polish resistance organization created to aid the country's Jewish population.

    In 1943, Sendler became head of Zegota's children's division and used her special access to the Warsaw Ghetto, granted to Social Welfare Department employees to conduct inspections for typhus, to set up a smuggling operation. She and her colleagues began secretly transporting babies and children out of the Ghetto by hiding them in an ambulance with a false bottom or in baskets, coffins, and even potato sacks. Continue reading

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