Irena Sendler is one of the unheralded heroes of the Holocaust. She did what many could not or would not do. Teaming up with her friends and colleagues, she was able to save the lives of 2500 Jewish children.
Tilar Mazzeo’s new book, Irena’s Children: The Extraordinary Story of the Woman Who Saved 2,500 Children from the Warsaw Ghetto, tells the story of how Irena Sendler and her network was able to save the lives of the 2500 Jewish children. Born to a Polish Catholic family in 1910, Irena’s family was far more tolerant and accepting of her Jewish neighbors and friends than others in Poland. Her early experiences led her to the moral conviction that she had to save as many young lives as she could.
Using her background in social work and her vast connections with both Jews and Christians, Irena worked feverishly to save the children. It was a dangerous task, if she or her colleagues were caught, the consequences for both the children and the adults were death. It was a task she willingly took on, knowing that one wrong move would mean the loss of countless lives.
I have mixed feelings about this book. There were some chapters where I could feel the tension and the danger in real-time, as if I was there. Other chapters I felt like they were filler, without real substance.
But overall, it is a good book and it is a reminder that despite the hate and the prejudice that exists in this world, there is still light and love and those willing to fight against hate.
I recommend it.