Tuesday, May 10, 2011
beyond bravery

"Irena Sendler - In The Name Of Their Mothers", is a very moving documentary film by Mary Skinner. It is about a group of women---and one woman in particular, Irena Sendler, who risked their lives to save over 2,500 Jewish children from certain death during World War 2. These children and their parents were all in the Warsaw Ghetto. The bravery of these women, and men, too, is beyond admirable...it is really stunning. They all risked their own lives and in some cases, lost their lives, for 'the greater good' of these children. I watched this film on PBS on Sunday, May 1st, and was so very very moved by the selflessness of these women. It was shown in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day. A perfect film for such a solemn and important occasion.Irena Sendler was a young woman of 29 when she began this journey of saving these young lives.....They created a network of women---all of whom were so committed to this seemingly impossible task---All, risking everything to do 'the right thing'....How brave was that? It is almost beyond my understanding. I think of myself at 29 and cannot imagine trying to save anyone or anything....I was in such a battle to save myself at that time. And I cannot imagine the strength it took to do what these incredible women worked so hard to accomplish, and succeeding in this loving task, in spite of horrendous odds--including torture and death by the hands of the Nazi's.Luckily, Irena Sendler was filmed by Mary Skinner and tells her story in her own words....She was very old when Ms. Skinner got her to agree to talk about this incredible period in Poland's history.....To say she is inspiring is an understatement......Ms. Sendler died at 98 in 2008, before this film was finished, but not before she shared her fantastic story. It is an Oral History that bears repeating over and over.....Magda Rusenik is another one of the other women that is featured in this touching film....And one of the 'children' she saved, William Donat, now a very mature man, is interviewed for the film. He eventually ended up in The United States where he still lives. There is a very moving scene in the film where he returns to Warsaw to meet Magda Rusinek for the first time since World War 2.....It is so incredibly touching---I found myself sobbing. You get a real sense of the love that these women showed their young charges and their desperate family's.....the fact that this man's life was saved by a stranger is really brought home in the scene where they meet for the first time----It is quite extraordinary......There is so much more to this film---I hope you get a chance to see it. It is on DVD and can be purchased. Hopefully, PBS will show it again. To read more about the making of the film and all the extraordinary people involved in saving these 2,500 children, go here. I urge you to try to see this film. You won't be able to get it out of your mind it is so filled with hope for the human race in the face of such unspeakable horrors......Bless Irena Sendler and Magda Rusenik and all the other very very brave women who helped give life to people they not only weren't related to, but whom they didn't even know.......

More To Come...........

Links to this post:


had this to say:

Sounds right up my alley Naomi. What brave, brave women.

I know you have no interest in Germany but we've booked tickets last night, to visit Berlin in mid July for a week and I'm really looking forward to seeing all the history that city offers. I'm sure there will be tears coming from me - I can easily get choked up at the best of times. But I'm sure the large pretzels washed down with large steins of beer will help. ;P

Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 1:32:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Thanks for the heads up. I'd heard about this movie when it was being filmed, but didn't know it was finished. It just fell off my radar. Genocides are my historic area of interest. I have my students do a genocide paper every semester on a different genocide each time. Sad to say there are that many in history. This current batch of students are comparing the first genocide of the 20th century (Herero genocide) with the current one in Darfur. I'm planning on writing a book or two on all the genocides that occurred during the Holocaust all over Europe. There was actually the Holocaust (Jews), the genocides of the Polish and Ukrainian people, and then mass slaughters of Yugoslavians/Serbs, and many other groups. It's a dark topic to focus on, but if we can understand why we do this, maybe we can stop.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 5:06:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

It's good to know that there still are glimmerings of humanity and grace even in the darkest, most evil of times. I'm sorry I missed this. I hope it's rebroadcast soon.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 6:50:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

She was sanity in a time when 'sanity' had left the building. Thank you so much for sharing this! I hope Netflix has it soon.

I can't help but wonder, given today's political climate, what will happen when/if such dark times come to this country. Then again, I'm guessing they'll be more subtle -- like cutting Social Security, Medicare, and other social programs.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 9:14:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

This is a film I definitely want to see! It sounds amazing, and the women in it sound incredible.

I'd like my kids to see it too as I think it's important for them to learn about this kind of thing. Much more inspiring than Twilight! :D

Going to check the link out now!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 8:29:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I will check on that one, Naomi.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 8:18:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

This sounds wonderful. I am a big fan of PBS and the shows they have. If this one comes around again, I'll try to watch it. Hope you are doing well dear Noami!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 2:36:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I absolutely MUST see this. I hope they re-run in the East on PBS. Stories like this really renew my faith in humanity. The subjects of the holocaust and children is a heart wrenching mix.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 8:17:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Wow, sounds amazing.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 9:56:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

What an amazing woman. At 29 I was a marcher but doubt seriously I would have risked my life for a cause.
I will head right for Netflix to see if they have it. The likes of people like her and Corrie ten Boom make you feel in awe,small but oh so grateful for their courage. Thanks Naomi.

Thursday, May 12, 2011 at 6:24:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I am so glad that she got to share her sotry and having it recorded before she passed

the photos are so touching Naomi
pulled at my heart and made me think of my Nana

Hope sends hugs to "Omi"

Thursday, May 12, 2011 at 9:20:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I have heard of these brave women before, thanks for the link---I will look forward to watching the film and just reading your post made me cry...such self sacrifice does that to me.

Thursday, May 12, 2011 at 9:32:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

What an uplifting and moving film this sounds. It's the selflessness of people like this which restore faith in human beings. I guess when great evil arises, great goodness will rise up to face it.

Thursday, May 12, 2011 at 9:48:00 AM PDT 

Blogger Pat
had this to say:

It is heart- warming that for so many dreadful examples of the Holcaust, which we should always remember,to prevent it ever happening again - there are stories of the courage and heroism of ordinary men and women.
Many of them unsung heroes risking their lives for people who were often complete strangers to them.
At last I can leave a comment. I do hope Blogger has sorted itself out.

Friday, May 13, 2011 at 2:43:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I've enjoyed many things you've mentioned in your blog, and after reading this I went straight to Netflix to check for the film. They have it listed, but I had to put it in my saved queue as it isn't yet available. I can't wait!!!

Nancy in Iowa

Saturday, May 14, 2011 at 3:11:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

What wonderfully brave women they were. The whole situation with the Nazi's was so terrible that acts like this stand out as more than mere kindness.

Sunday, May 15, 2011 at 8:23:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I must to see "Irena Sendler - In The Name Of Their Mothers", documentary. Sounds very moving.
Thanks for sharing it.

Sunday, May 15, 2011 at 8:37:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

ohhhh,sounds like a must see...thanks for your "take" on it... i will try and see it.

Monday, May 16, 2011 at 4:53:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Thanks for this post, what a wonderfull story. I will look forward to watch this film. I think all teenagers in the world should watch it!

Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 5:44:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I've been doing heavy reading and thinking about what happened to Poland in WWII. It is both depressing and inspiring. The Polish people suffered tremendously at the hands of both the Germans and the Soviets. In the face of the incredibly brutal occupation they never surrendered. The stories I've found equally inspirational are those of Jan Karski, Witold Pilecki, Gen Anders and the Army he raised from Poles being held as slaves in Siberia including a fighting bear called Wojtek; also, the Polish fighter pilots who fought with the RAF, and the 1st Polish Armored Division: a woman commando, Christine Granville; Polish mathemeticians, and many many more too numerous to list here. We started a Facebook group to document and discuss these stories and now have over 390 members: "The Way Back: Unknown Stories of WWII Poland" which we invite your readers to join. The group includes many impressive authors and even heroic film makers like Mary Skinner who have refused to let these remarkable stories fade unknown into history.

Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 8:46:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Absolutely moved by this and sharing with all my friends. I was lucky enough to not have to live through this - My admiration for these heroic people is beyond admiration. The question I ask - What would I do? What would we do? Lest we forget♥

Saturday, January 12, 2013 at 12:39:00 PM PST 

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