World War II Heroine. When Germany invaded Poland in 1939, Sendler was working for the Warsaw Social Welfare Department, providing services for orphans and the poor, including food, clothing, and medicine. To shelter the Jews who were receiving such services, she started registering them under fictitious Christian names and reporting that they had infectious diseases to ward off inspections. Upon the Nazis' creation of the Warsaw Ghetto in 1942, she joined the underground and took on the task of rescuing the children. Sendler legally entered the Ghetto with a government pass, bringing supplies daily. In her contact with the Jews, she managed to convince them to allow their children to be sheltered with non-Jews outside the Ghetto and also managed to find families willing to take them. Issuing forged identification documents with new identities for the children, she smuggled nearly 2,500 of them out of the Ghetto in ambulances, gunnysacks, body bags, and coffins. A Roman Catholic, Sendler received much assistance from the church in finding homes for the children. She kept carefully coded records of the children's original and falsified names and stored the lists in jars, which she buried under an apple tree in a neighbor's backyard, hoping for their future use in educating the children about their roots. The Nazis discovered her subterfuge and arrested her in 1943. Sendler was imprisoned, tortured, and sentenced to death but refused to divulge the names of the children. A member of the underground managed to save her from execution by bribing a member of the Gestapo, and she managed to escape from prison. She received several humanitarian awards from various Jewish groups. In 1999, four Kansas high school students wrote a play about her life entitled "Life in a Jar," which was publicized by National Public Radio, C SPAN, and CBS. Sendler was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.
Bio by: countedx58