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Category: World War II
  • Irena Sendler led a secret operation to successfully smuggle Jewish children out of the Warsaw Ghetto, saving them from almost certain death

    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 until recently, few people had heard Irena Sendler's incredible story. This Polish Catholic nurse and social worker defied the Nazis at great personal risk, and nearly paid the ultimate price for her courageous actions. And even when she was tortured by the Gestapo, she never told them the names or locations of the children she had rescued. Her story is one of tremendous moral fortitude and the determination to fight evil, no matter the cost. Continue reading Continue reading

  • "Agent Rose" rescued over 100 British and American pilots shot down during WWII.

    As Europe was consumed by war, a young woman running a beauty salon would become a major figure in the French Resistance of World War II. Andrée Peel, who was known as "Agent Rose," was one of the most highly decorated woman to survive the war and helped save countless lives, including over 100 British and American pilots shot down over France. "At that time we were all putting our lives in danger but we did it because we were fighting for freedom," she later recalled. "It was a terrible time but looking back I am so proud of what I did and I'm glad to have helped defend the freedom of our future generations." Continue reading Continue reading

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

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

    Each year on Holocaust Remembrance Day, 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 Day 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 Continue reading

  • "Such a fine, sunny day, and I have to go, but what does my death matter, if through us, thousands of people are awakened and stirred to action?"

    "Laws change. Conscience doesn't." — Sophie Scholl

    When Sophie Scholl was born to a German family in Forchtenberg on May 9, 1921, nobody could have expected that she would give her life at age 21 for her anti-Nazi resistance work. Scholl was a key member of the White Rose, a student resistance group in Munich, and remains one of Germany's great dissenting heroes of the World War II. Despite that, few people outside of Germany know of her name or of the courage that allowed her to face death rather than give up her belief in what was right.

    Today, we're sharing Sophie's story, as well as a selection of books for readers of all ages that explore her heroic story, the White Rose, and her impact on history in more depth. Her bravery and sacrifice is a powerful reminder of the importance of standing up against injustice, hatred, and tyranny, even at great personal cost. Continue reading Continue reading

  • 15 Trailblazing Female Wartime Heroes Who Belong in the History Books

    women-in-wartime-blog-websiteOften, the popular image of women in wartime is worried wives, girlfriends, sisters, and daughters, pining at home for the men they love who are risking their lives on the battlefield. The reality, though, is much different! Women have always made significant contributions to war efforts -- both on the homefront and on the front lines. While women's contributions at home, especially during WWII, have become more widely known, the stories of their heroism on the battlefield are rarely told. In every war there have been women who dared to spy across enemy lines; treat wounded soldiers in the midst of the fighting; report from the front as journalists, and fight shoulder to shoulder with their male peers. And although we don't hear of them often, women also fought for an equally important cause: peace.

    In this blog post, we're sharing stories of remarkable women from the Hundred Years' War to World War II. These women were spies, resisters, rescuers, medics, journalists, soldiers, and peacemakers; they risked as much and acted as bravely as their more renowned male counterparts. While a few of these figures were famous in their own times, their stories have faded in the years since, and most were little known or disregarded, even as they committed remarkable acts of heroism. Today, we can finally give them their due -- and marvel at their incredible stories, which prove that truth is often far more exciting than fiction!

    If you'd like to learn more about any of the featured women or introduce them to children and teens, after each profile we've shared several reading recommendations for both children and adults, as well as other resources that celebrate these remarkable women.

    For more stories of inspiring women, check out the other two blog posts in our Mighty Girl Heroes blog series, Guardians of the Planet: 10 Women Environmentalists You Should Know and Those Who Dared to Discover: 15 Women Scientists You Should Know. Continue reading Continue reading

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