Sunday, April 19, 2009

Bob the Builder Award: Your homework assignment: Watch the Irena Sendler movie tonight

When Al Gore won the Nobel Prize a couple years ago, I was bummed. I am sure it is a fine movie...I have it on my DVR and may someday get to it...I recorded it in November.

I was bummed because he beat out the Rotary which of course was actually beating out me as a Rotarian. Since winning the Nobel Peace Prize is one of my life' goals, naturally I was disappointed. It isn't going to be easy for an Alaskan girl from Slowtown to win that honor.

However, I was even MORE bummed when I found out who else he beat out. Irena Sendler, a woman I have known about for several years. The woman with a WHOLE lot of canning jars during WW2.

And I quote:
"A Christian doctor's daughter with many Jewish friends (she is from Poland), she reconfigured her job at the Social Welfare Department, recruited 10 like-minded workers, and began issuing false documents with forged signatures. She also wangled a legal pass into the Jewish Ghetto, supposedly to deal with infectious diseases. In truth, the social workers "smuggled in food, medicine, clothing, and money." She also smuggled children out. First persuading complete strangers to give their children over to her, then finding ways to smuggle the little ones out--in body bags, boxes, coffins etc... and placing them with Catholic Families or in orphanges. A jar was buried in the garden in her back yard held lists of the children's real names so after the war they could be reunited with their families."

Irena was later captured by the Gestapo and brutally tortured in Pawiak Prison, however she escaped with the Underground Assistance help. She is credited for saving 2,500 children.

A little more investment in her work than hiring someone to produce a movie about the environment.

Sadly, Irena died 11 months ago at the age of 98. She didn't live to see her movie tonight or win the Nobel Peace Prize. I would imagine she would OK with all that. Irena, if I ever win, I will share my prize with you. :) It would be my honor.