The soldiers of course wanted nothing to do with the dog, and the barking covered the kids/infants noises. During her time and course of doing this, she managed to smuggle out and save 2500 kids/infants. She was caught, and the Nazi’s broke both her legs, and arms, and beat her severely.
Iliana kept a record of the names of all the kids she smuggled out, and kept them in a glass jar, buried under a tree in her back yard.
After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived it, and reunited the family.
Most of course had been gassed. Those kids she helped got placed into foster family homes, or adopted.
Iliana was up for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.
She LOST. Al Gore won, for a slide show on Global Warming.
Check it out: http://www.irenasendler.org
A Los Angeles Times obituary for Irena described how Irena, a social worker, passed herself off as a nurse to sneak supplies and aid into (and children out of) the Warsaw Ghetto, and the punishment she endured when she was finally caught by the Nazis: Irena Sendler was reportedly a candidate to receive the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, but that honor was not awarded to her. (It’s difficult to state categorically that she was “nominated” for the award, since information about Nobel Prize “nominations, investigations, and opinions is kept secret for fifty years.)
In 2007, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded jointly to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and former U.S. Vice-President Albert Arnold (Al) Gore Jr. “for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change.” (Al Gore was also involved with another significant award in 2007, when An Inconvenient Truth, a documentary about his campaign to make the issue of global warming a recognized problem worldwide, claimed an Academy Award as “Best Documentary Feature.”)
The International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) expressed its disappointment that Irena Sendler had not yet been honored with a Nobel Prize:
She studied at Warsaw University and was a social worker in Warsaw when the German occupation of Poland began in 1939. In 1940, after the Nazis herded Jews into the ghetto and built a wall separating it from the rest of the city, disease, especially typhoid, ran rampant. Social workers were not allowed inside the ghetto, but Sendler, imagining “the horror of life behind the walls,” obtained fake identification and passed herself off as a nurse, allowed to bring in food, clothes and medicine.
By 1942, when the deadly intentions of the Nazis had become clear, Sendler joined a Polish underground organization, Zegota. She recruited 10 close friends — a group that would eventually grow to 25, all but one of them women — and began rescuing Jewish children.
She and her friends smuggled the children out in boxes, suitcases, sacks and coffins, sedating babies to quiet their cries. Some were spirited away through a network of basements and secret passages. Operations were timed to the second. One of Sendler’s children told of waiting by a gate in darkness as a German soldier patrolled nearby. When the soldier passed, the boy counted to 30, then made a mad dash to the middle of the street, where a manhole cover opened and he was taken down into the sewers and eventually to safety.
Most of the children who left with Sendler’s group were taken into Roman Catholic convents, orphanages and homes and given non-Jewish aliases. Sendler recorded their true names on thin rolls of paper in the hope that she could reunite them with their families later. She preserved the precious scraps in jars and buried them in a friend’s garden.
In 1943, she was captured by the Nazis and tortured but refused to tell her captors who her co-conspirators were or where the bottles were buried. She also resisted in other ways. According to Felt, when Sendler worked in the prison laundry, she and her co-workers made holes in the German soldiers’ underwear. When the officers discovered what they had done, they lined up all the women and shot every other one. It was just one of many close calls for Sendler.
During one particularly brutal torture session, her captors broke her feet and legs, and she passed out. When she awoke, a Gestapo officer told her he had accepted a bribe from her comrades in the resistance to help her escape. The officer added her name to a list of executed prisoners. Sendler went into hiding but continued her rescue efforts.
Felt said that Sendler had begun her rescue operation before she joined the organized resistance and helped a number of adults escape, including the man she later married. “We think she saved about 500 people before she joined Zegota,” Felt said, which would mean that Sendler ultimately helped rescue about 3,000 Polish Jews.
When the war ended, Sendler unearthed the jars and began trying to return the children to their families. For the vast majority, there was no family left. Many of the children were adopted by Polish families; others were sent to Israel.
However IFSW is deeply saddened that the life work of Nobel nominee Irena Sendler, social worker, did not receive formal recognition’, said David N. Jones, IFSW President. ‘Irena Sendler and her helpers took personal risks day after day to prevent the destruction of individual lives — the lives of the children of the Warsaw ghetto. This work was done very quietly, without many words and at the risk of their lives. This is so typical of social work, an activity which changes and saves lives but is done out of the glare of publicity and often at personal risk. IFSW recognises her again and at the same time celebrates the commitment and dedication of thousands of social workers around the world who also bring hope and care to people often living on the edge of despair.’
“In our world of big names, curiously, our true heroes tend to be anonymous. In this life of illusion and quasi-illusion, the person of solid virtues who can be admired for something more substantial than his well-knownness often proves to be the unsung hero: the teacher, the nurse, the mother, the honest cop, the hard worker at lonely, underpaid, unglamorous, unpublicized jobs.”
— Daniel J. Boorstin