The testimony of Irena Sendlerowa
Irena Sendlerowa (Irena Sendler) was born in 1910 to a Polish family living in the suburbs of the city of Warsaw. Her father was a physician, many of whose patients were Jews. During the Nazi occupation of Poland, she was a social worker with the city's Social Welfare Department and, as an employee of this Department, she had a special permit to enter the ghetto where she wore a yellow star.
In secret, Irena directed a children’s rescue group to smuggle Jewish children from the Ghetto. This group was part of an organised ‘underground’ council called Zegota, set up to help Jews. When Irena managed to rescue children, she provided them with false papers and placed them with the substitute Polish families, who pretended to their neighbours that the children were relatives. When she could not find a suitable family willing to take such a tremendous risk, she placed them in Catholic institutions like the Warsaw orphanage of the Sisters of the Family of Mary, or in convents.