Working in the Ghetto

 

 

To be able to enter the Ghetto legally, Irena managed to be issued a pass from Warsaws Epidemic Control Department and she visited the Ghetto daily, reestablished contacts and brought food, medicines and clothing. But 5,000 people were dying a month from starvation and disease in the Ghetto, and she decided to help the Jewish children to get out.

For Irena Sendler, a young mother herself, persuading parents to part with their children was in itself a horrendous task. Finding families willing to shelter the children, and thereby willing to risk their life if the Nazis ever found out, was also not easy.

Wearing nurses' uniforms, she and a colleague, Irena Schultz, were sent into the ghetto with food, clothes and medicine, including a vaccine against typhoid. It soon became clear, however, that the ultimate destination of many of the Jews was to be the Treblinka death camp, and Zegota decided to try to save as many children as possible.

Using the codename "Jolanta", and wearing a Star of David armband to identify herself with the Jewish population, Irena Sendler became part of this escape network.