Life in a Jar

Whenever I’ve got know a good story, I always want to share it with somebody. Anybody. From my circle of acquaintance to the larger groups of netizens.

Today, I want to tell you the story of a Polish woman. Her name is Irene Sendler.

During WWII, Irene and her comrades helped save about 2,500 Jewish children from the Holocaust. She created false documents and smuggled them out of the Warsaw Ghetto. Out of their deadly fate.

Each child was given a fake name and adopted by a Polish family, while their real names were written down by Irene, put in jars and buried elsewhere. She would wait until the war ended to dig up the jars and reunite the children with their real families.

Unfortunately, the heroine was arrested by the Nazi in 1943. She was tortured, rescued and then had to in the shadow for the rest of the war.

Irene’s story was buried for a long time. Up to 1999, few in the West had heard about the Polish heroine. Until a group of three students in Kansas found a short clipping about Irene, from a March 1994 issue of News and World Report.

The students – Megan Stewart, Elizabeth Cambers, and Sabrina Coons – spent the whole year clarifying the sources. At the end, they created a whole play about Irene Sendler’s act, called “Life in a Jar”, and performed it at school.

The story was so touching that their play went national, international, and then a whole Irene Sendler Project was born. With help from various sponsors, they sought reconnection with Irene and found out she was still alive in Warsaw.

Irene and the students started exchanging letters, among of which Irene wrote: “My emotion is being shadowed by the fact that my co-workers have all passed on, and these honors fall to me. I can’t find words to thank you, for my own country and the world to know of the bravery of rescuers. Before the day you had written Life in a Jar, the world did not know our story; your performance and work is continuing the effort I started over fifty years ago. You are my dearly beloved ones.”

Did you see how powerful a story could be? Therefore, let’s share a good story. Today. Everyday. Because you don’t know how far a good story can go. And change lives.

Trinh Le

Read more about Life in a Jar:


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