From Yahoo News, by MONIKA SCISLOWSKA, Associated Press Writer, Mon May 12:
WARSAW, Poland - Irena Sendler — credited with saving some 2,500 Jewish children from the Nazi Holocaust by smuggling them out of the Warsaw Ghetto, some of them in baskets — died Monday.... She was 98.
Irena Sendler z"l
(Photo by Katarina Stoltz/Reuters, 14/3/08)
...President Lech Kaczynski expressed "great regret" over Sendler's death, calling her "extremely brave" and "an exceptional person." In recent years, Kaczynski had spearheaded a campaign to put Sendler's name forward as a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Sendler was a 29-year-old social worker with the city's welfare department when Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, launching World War II. Warsaw's Jews were forced into a walled-off ghetto.
Seeking to save the ghetto's children, Sendler masterminded risky rescue operations. Under the pretext of inspecting sanitary conditions during a typhoid outbreak, she and her assistants ventured inside the ghetto — and smuggled out babies and small children in ambulances and in trams, sometimes wrapped up as packages.
Teenagers escaped by joining teams of workers forced to labor outside the ghetto. They were placed in fa
Records show that Sendler's team of about 20 people saved nearly 2,500 children from the Warsaw Ghetto between October 1940 and its final liquidation in April 1943....
"Every child saved with my help and the help of all the wonderful secret messengers, who today are no longer living, is the justification of my existence on this earth, and not a title to glory," Sendler said in 2007 in a letter to the Polish Senate after lawmakers honored her efforts in 2007....
Also see our previous posting on Irena Sendler