Thursday, 12 November 2009

Irena Sendler

Irena Sendler (nee Krzyżanowska, in Poland commonly referred to as Irena Sendlerowa; 15 February 1910 – 12 May 2008) was a Polish Catholic social worker who served in the Polish Underground and the Zegota resistance organization in German occupied Warsaw during World War II. Assisted by some two dozen other Żegota members, Sendler saved 2,500 Jewish children by smuggling them out of the Warsaw Ghetto, providing them false documents, and sheltering them in individual and group children's homes outside the Ghetto.
Sendler's story was brought to light in the United States when students in Kansas found it described in a magazine and popularized it through their original play Life In A Jar. On 19 April 2009, The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler, a Hallmark Hall of Fame production written and directed by John Kent Harrison and starring Anna Paquin in the title role, was broadcast by CBS.
Irena Sendler sympathized with Jews from childhood. Her physician father had died in 1917 of typhus contracted while treating Jewish patients. She opposed the ghetto-bench system that existed at some prewar Polish universities and as a result was suspended from Warsaw University for three years.

During the German occupation of Poland, Sendler (pictured below in 2005) lived in Warsaw (prior to that, she had lived in Otwock and Tarczyn while working for urban Social Welfare departments). As early as 1939, when the Germans invaded Poland, she began aiding Jews. She and her helpers created over 3,000 false documents to help Jewish families, prior to joining the organized Żegota resistance and the children's division. Helping Jews was very risky—in German-occupied Poland, all household members risked death if they were found to be hiding Jews, a more severe punishment than in other occupied European countries.
In December 1942 the newly created Żegota (the Council to Aid Jews) nominated her (by her cover name Jolanta) to head its children's section. As an employee of the Social Welfare Department, she had a special permit to enter the Warsaw Ghetto to check for signs of typhus, something the Nazis feared would spread beyond the Ghetto. During these visits, she wore a Star of David as a sign of solidarity with the Jewish people and so as not to call attention to herself.
She cooperated with the Children's Section of the Municipal Administration, linked with the RGO (Central Welfare Council), a Polish relief organization that was tolerated under German supervision. She organized the smuggling of Jewish children out of the Ghetto, carrying them out in boxes, suitcases and trolleys.
Under the pretext of conducting inspections of sanitary conditions during a typhoid outbreak, Sendler visited the Ghetto and smuggled out babies and small children in ambulances and trams, sometimes disguising them as packages. She also used the old courthouse at the edge of the Warsaw Ghetto (still standing) as one of the main routes for smuggling out children.
The children were placed with Polish families, the Warsaw orphanage of the Sisters of the Family of Mary, or Roman Catholic
convents such as the Little Sister Servants of the Blessed Virgin Mary Conceived Immaculate at Turkowice and Chotomow. Some children were smuggled to priests in parish rectories. She hid lists of their names in jars in order to keep track of their original and new identities. Żegota assured the children that, when the war was over, they would be returned to Jewish relatives.In 1943 Sendler was arrested by the Gestapo, severely tortured, and sentenced to death. Żegota saved her by bribing German guards on the way to her execution. She was left in the woods, unconscious and with broken arms and legs. She was listed on public bulletin boards as among those executed. For the remainder of the war, she lived in hiding, but continued her work for the Jewish children. After the war, she dug up the jars containing the children's identities and attempted to find the children and return them to their parents. However, almost all of their parents had been killed at the Treblinka extermination camp or had gone missing otherwise.
After the war and the Soviet takeover of Poland, she was at first persecuted and imprisoned by the communist Polish state authorities for her relations with the Polish government in exile and with the Home Army. While in prison she miscarried her second child and her other children were later denied the right to study at communist controlled Polish universities.

In 1965 Sendler was recognized by Yad Vashem
as one of the Righteous among the Nations, which was confirmed in 1983 by the Israeli Supreme Court. She also was awarded the Commander's Cross by the Israeli Institute. Only in that year did the Polish communist government allow her to travel abroad, to receive the award in Israel. In 2003 Poe John Paul II sent Sendler a personal letter praising her wartime efforts. On 10 October 2003 she received the Order of the White Eagle, Poland's highest civilian decoration, and the Jan Karski Award "For Courage and Heart," given by the American Center of Polish Culture in Washington, D.C.,
On 14 March 2007 Sendler was honored by Poland's Senate
. At age 97, she was unable to leave her nursing home to receive the honor, but she sent a statement through Elżbieta Ficowska, whom Sendler had saved as an infant. Polish President Lech Kaczinsky stated she "can justly be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize" (though nominations are supposed to be kept secret). On 11 April 2007, she received the Order of the Smile as the oldest recipient of the award.
In May 2009, Irena Sendler was posthumously granted the Audrey Hepburn
Humanitarian Award. The award, named in honor of the late actress and UNICEF ambassador, is presented to persons and organizations recognised for helping children. In its citation, the Audrey Hepburn Foundation recalled Irena Sendler’s heroic efforts that saved two and a half thousand Jewish children during the German occupation of Poland in World War Two.
Sendler was the last survivor of the Children's Section of the Zegota Council to Assist Jews
, which she had headed from January 1943 until the end of the war.

Cool Garage Doors

A German firm called 'Style Your Garage' creates posters for garage doors that make it look as if your garage is where all the action is.

Who Am I?

Today we bring you another 'Who Am I?' puzzle. All you have to do is work out from the clues below the name of our mystery celebrity.

01 I was born on 15 February 1976.
02 My place of birth was Merton, London, England.
03 My father was Ray Cameron, who produced, wrote and directed the Kenny Everett Television Show.
04 My mother, Kati, was a dancer.
05 I attended Edinburgh University for a year, before dropping out.
06 I am a British comedian.
07 My act is based on social satire and observational comedy.
08 My first DVD was called 'Live and Laughing'.
09 I appeared in the Royal Variety Performance in2006 and 2008.
10 I have also appeared twice on Live at the Apollo.

Good luck with this puzzle. Answer in tomorrow's Journal.

Mexican Gravestones

He Said To Me

He said to me.. .... What have you been doing with all the grocery money I gave you?
I said to him . ..... Turn sideways and look in the mirror!
He said to me. ..... Why don't women blink during foreplay?
I said to him .. . They don't have time

He said to me. . How many men does it take to change a roll of toilet paper?
I said to him .. . I don't know; it has never happened.