3 Anecdotes about Irena Sendler
01. Daughter of a hero
Irena Sendler was born as Irena Krzyżanowska on 15 February 1910 in Warsaw to Dr.Stanisław Krzyżanowski.
Her father died in February 1917 from typhus contracted while treating patients whom his colleagues refused to treat in fear of contracting the disease, among them many Jews.
02. Fighted vs Ghetto system
After the death of his father, the Jewish community leaders offered her mother help in paying for Irena’s education.
Irena Sendler opposed the ghetto-bench system that existed at some prewar Polish universities and defaced her grade card. As a result of her public protest she was suspended from the University of Warsaw for three years.
03. Ways to save children
Irena and the others who went with her into the ghetto, used many methods to smuggle children out. There were five main means of escape:
- using an ambulance a child could be taken out hidden under the stretcher;
- escape through the courthouse;
- a child could be taken out using the sewer pipes or other secret underground passages;
- a trolley could carry out children hiding in a sack, in a trunk, a suitcase or something similar;
- if a child could pretend to be sick or was actually very ill, it could be legally removed using the ambulance.
The number of babies saved was small in relation to the total number of children rescued.