Illinois Holocaust Museum Mourns Passing of Rescuer Irena Sendler
The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center mourns the passing of Irena Sendler, a courageous and unsung hero who risked her life to save approximately 2,500 children during the Holocaust through her work with Zegota, a unit of the Polish underground established specifically to help Jews in hiding. As a health worker, Sendler had access to the Warsaw ghetto, and between 1942 and 1943 led hundreds of Jewish children out of the ghetto to safe hiding places. Arrested and originally sentenced to death, Ms. Sendler escaped Nazi persecution and lived in Warsaw till 98 years of age. Last year Ms. Sendler was honored by the Polish Senate and nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
In June 2007, Museum leaders Fritzie Fritzshall and Ralph Rehbock accompanied Illinois Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn on an official Illinois delegation to Poland that included a meeting with Ms. Sendler. Lt. Gov. Quinn presented her with a plaque naming a new IHMEC scholarship for educators in her honor. This scholarship will allow two middle or high school teachers to attend the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous teacher institute annually. IHMECís Associate Director of Education Kelley Szany was the first recipient of the scholarship. This year, Gordon Tech High School teacher and IHMEC Educator Advisory Board member Anthony Millspaugh received this special award.
Read the letter from Sam Harris and Rick Hirschhaut in the Chicago Tribune.