Warsaw Ghetto

Photo Of The Day

Irena Sendler. An unfamiliar name to most people, but this remarkable woman defied the Nazis and saved 2,500 Jewish children by smuggling them out of the Warsaw Ghetto.

Irena Sendler. An unfamiliar name to most people, but this remarkable woman defied the Nazis and saved 2,500 Jewish children by smuggling them out of the Warsaw Ghetto.

Remembering Irena

A Light that Never Went Out

Arrested, tortured, and sentenced to death, Sendler managed to escape her sentence for?smuggling over 2,500 Jewish children out of the Warsaw Ghetto and saving them from certain death.

Irena Sendler, born in 1910, in Warsaw, Poland, was raised by her parents to respect and love people regardless of their ethnicity or social status. She grew up in the town of Otwock, Poland. Her father, a physician, died from typhus that he contracted during an epidemic in 1917. He was the only doctor in his town of Otwock, near Warsaw who would treat the poor, mostly Jewish community of this tragic disease. As he was dying, he told 7-year-old Irena, ?If you see someone drowning you must try to rescue them, even if you cannot swim.?

When World War II started in 1939, Irena immediately started protecting her Jewish friends in Warsaw. She worked as a social services director in Warsaw. She would make false documents for Jews in the city and had already started gathering her famous rescue network. When the Warsaw Ghetto was erected in 1940, Irena saw the danger ahead.

When liquidation started in 1942, Irena and her network accelerated the rescue process. The number 2,500, in connection with children rescued, is estimated by Irena and historians to be of this division. About 800 were taken from the Warsaw Ghetto, many of which were orphans. Approximately the same number were in orphanages and convents, Irena and her network assisted in the hiding of these children.

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Photo Of The Day

Solomon and Frieda Radasky. After over 50 years of marriage and two children, Frieda Radasky passed away in 1999. Frieda, like her husband, was from Warsaw.

Solomon and Frieda Radasky. After over 50 years of marriage and two children, Frieda Radasky passed away in 1999. Frieda, like her husband, was from Warsaw.

Solomon Radasky

Survivor

The 27th of January was Holocaust Memorial Day, we remember how little we remember. Despite the many movies, books and survivor?testimonies, there are the countless stories that have been lost and there are all the non-transmissible sensations. One who was not there can never know what it felt like to be there.

How did I survive? When a person is in trouble he wants to live. He fights for his life…Some people say, “Eh — What will be, will be.” No! You have to fight for yourself day by day. Some people did not care. They said, “I do not want to live. What is the difference? I don’t give a damn.” I was thinking day by day. I want to live. A person has to hold on to his own will, hold on to that to the last minute.

I am from Warsaw. I lived in Praga, which is the part of the city across the Vistula river. I had a nice life there; I had my own shop where I used to make fur coats. In Warsaw when a Jewish holiday came we used to know it was a holiday. All the stores were closed, and the people were in the synagogues.

Out of the 78 people in my family, I am the only one to survive. My parents had 3 boys and 3 girls: My parents were Jacob and Toby; my brothers were Moishe and Baruch, and my sisters were Sarah, Rivka and Leah. They were all killed.

My mother and my older sister were killed in the last week of January 1941. The year 1941 was a cold winter with a lot of snow. One morning the?SD?and the?Jewish police?caught me in the street. I was forced to work with a lot of other people clearing snow from the railroad tracks. Our job was to keep the trains running.

When I returned to the?ghetto?I found out that my mother and older sister had been killed. The Germans demanded that the?Judenrat?collect gold and furs from the people in the ghetto. When they asked my mother for jewelry and furs, she said she had none. So they shot her and my older sister too.

My father was killed in April 1942. He went to buy bread from the children who were smuggling food into the ghetto. The children brought bread, potatoes and cabbages across the wall into the?Warsaw ghetto. A Jewish policeman pointed out my father to a German and told him that he saw my father take a bread from a boy at the wall. The German shot my father in the back.

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Photo Of The Day

Letter

Mohandas Gandhi’s letter to Adolf Hitler, 1939

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