When the Nazis invaded Poland during World War II, Irena joined the resistance movement to fight the German occupation and worked tirelessly to save the lives of hundreds of Jews, mostly children. She joined Zegota, the code name for the Council for Aid to Jews in Occupied Poland. Working undercover as a nurse, she used a medical pass to enter the Warsaw Ghetto to bring Jewish children to safety. She constantly moved the children from one home to another or placed them into Roman Catholic convents and orphanages, hiding the little ones in trunks, suitcases, or sacks under the ambulance back-seat. Sendler also arranged for babies and children to be sedated and smuggled out with merchants in potato sacks, under their loads of goods. Sometimes, she even sneaked sedated children out in body bags, telling the guards that they were dead.
She buried jars containing the children’s real names in a friend’s garden, so that they could one day, learn the names of their biological families after the war.
Called the female Oskar Schindler for her courage and daring in smuggling over 2,500 children from the Holocaust, This is an amazing story of bravery and compassion. Ages 8-9. Written by Susan Goldman Rubin, illustrated by Bill Farnsworth.