Thursday, April 10, 2014

True Heroes A to Z: : "I," as in INSPIRING

True heroes are all around us, in our every day lives, but some people stand out. During this A-Z Challenge I hope to share several of my real life heroes, and invite you to share yours in the comments.

Do you ever wish you could make a difference in the world? Let me introduce you to...

rena Sendler, a hero we don't hear nearly enough about from Poland, a woman who smuggled around 2,500 Jewish kids to safety during the Holocaust and provided them false identities. She was a nurse, a social worker, and obviously part of the underground resistance during World War II.

A fighter from early on, she was stripped of her university education because she opposed the ghetto-bench system, a segregation tactic which forced Jews to sit in designated areas.

As a nurse and social worker, she was allowed into the Ghetto to "conduct inspections of sanitary conditions," during which she smuggled babies, small children and teens away to safety in ambulances and trams, getting creative and periodically hiding them in packages. Every day she risked her life, and when she was finally arrested, she was tortured, including the breaking of her feet and legs, then sentenced to death. Friends rescued her, and she remained in hiding until the war was over, still assisting where she could to save lives.

Irena's story is awe inspiring to me. She was in a position to help people, and she did, without regard to her own safety. I have to wonder how many of us would have the gumption, vision and courage to risk everything for others.


DID YOU MISS MY ANNOUNCEMENT MONDAY? Check it out for the
release date. And to celebrate that announcement, MOONLESS is on sale for $1.99! (But only for the month of April.) Get your copy fast.

Jane Eyre meets Supernatural.

Alexia must choose safety and an arranged marriage, or true love and being hunted by the Soulless every moonless night.


Have you heard of Irene before? Do you have any WWII heroes? Have you known or heard of anyone willing to give their life for others?

106 comments:

  1. I have heard of Irena before but would love to know more! I'm surprised there hasn't been a movie made about her life. Or is there one and I just missed it?

    Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption
    Minion, Capt. Alex's Ninja Minion Army
    The 2014 Blogging from A-Z Challenge

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    1. I'm honestly not sure, but it would definitely make an amazing movie.

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  2. I haven't heard of Irena before, what a brave and inspiring lady.
    A release date for Souless, congratulations :)

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  3. Now she was a hero! Wonder if there are any biographies about her?

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  4. I had never heard of Irena until about a year or so ago and now I can't remember the context, but I was so amazed at her bravery when I learned about her. It's a shame her story isn't more widely know. Such an inspiring woman.

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  5. Yay! I found you...LOL Great page Crystal!

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    1. Thanks much! (I'm I that hard to find?)

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  6. I haven't heard of Irene before. What an amazing woman full of courage and love for others. What bravery it took to risk her own life to help others escape. And then to be tortured and have her legs broken...I can't imagine the pain.

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    1. I can't imagine living through those circumstances, say nothing about risking your life every day. Amazing indeed.

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  7. I hadn't heard of her before, which is a shame, because she sounds like an amazing woman!

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  8. I've never heard of Irena before - what an amazing woman!

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  9. What a brave woman. My favorite bits of history from WWII and the Holocaust are the people who helped smuggle people out safely. (Coincidentally, am watching a documentary on an escape from Auschwitz right now.)

    ~Patricia Lynne~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, YA Author

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    1. Amazing. It's like we were tuned into the same mental channel.

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  10. Top Woman - I love her! I'm so glad she got rescued by friends.

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  11. Thanks for sharing her life story with us. I love to learn anything about WWII and the Holocaust. Have you read Surviving Hitler? Wonderful story!

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    1. I haven't read that. I'm betting I'd love the book.

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  12. I had never heard of her, which is shameful. Thank you for sharing. I need to look her up and read more.

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    1. Awesome. See, that's why I'm doing this hop--a motivation to get all the details on the good ones.

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  13. Irena is a true hero! I'm sad to say I haven't never heard of her until now, so thank you so much for sharing her story.

    I often wonder if people now-a-days would be as brave to risk their lives to help others in a tragic time as those did during WWII. I think many would, but I hope we don't have to find out for sure.

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    1. Seconded. It's amazing how much goodness adverse circumstances bring out.

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  14. Wow -- how inspirational! Why haven't I heard of her before?!?! It's uplifting to hear of people who are willing to risk everything to do what's right, even in the face of unspeakable evil.

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    1. I completely agree. We get so busy with life, we don't pause to learn from the past.

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  15. Thank you so much for sharing these amazing people. Irena showed true love for others by putting her own life at risk to help them. What a beautiful example.

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  16. She saved a lot of kids. Her torture sounds awful though.

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  17. If a movie have not yet been made about this woman, it should be done! :)

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  18. Wow, it's so inspire to hear about her doing such good things for others and so heart-wrenching to hear what happened to her for those actions. Thank you for telling us about Irena. Great A to Z post, Crystal.

    By the way, I'm loving Moonless... looking forward to reviewing soon =-)

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    1. Yay! That always warms my heart. =) Thanks for the kind words, Emilyann.

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  19. It's stories like these that remind us that there have been and can still be 'good guys' in the world.

    The Immarcescible Word

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  20. Kind of annoyed with my education, since I've never learnt about this woman. She was definitely inspiring.

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    1. I had to learn about her the hard way too. I think a real education is what we discover in the process of living--including all the history we pick up along the way.

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  21. So glad you shared this story, since I'd never heard of her before. It's important people learn about amazing historical figures like this.

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    1. Too true. It's amazing what we can find in our very own history, eh?

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  22. I hadn't ever heard of Irena. It's inspiring the way she risked her own life to help others.

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  23. I'd never heard of Irena but she sounds like someone who follows her conscience. I'd like to believe that I could be like her in a similar situation, but who knows?

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  24. Wow. Now that is a dedicated woman. Her humble and helpful heart really is awe inspiring.

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  25. Such an inspiring post! I learned something from you today.

    Love,
    Janie

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  26. I enjoyed your post. I love reading about true heroes, especially females who had to fight extra hard to be heard or to accomplish their goals.
    Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com

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    1. Especially the females. We don't hear as much about them, do we?

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  27. I didn't know anything about Irena. From your description, I think she's a wonderful, brave soul. I'm amazed at how much she accomplished and what she suffered. I'm so glad her friends rescued her. This story will stay with me for a long time.

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    1. So glad. She's truly inspiring, isn't she?

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  28. Thanks so much for highlighting her. I didn't know any of this. That's amazing how she risked her own safety like that and how creative she was. I'm so glad she had such good friends too who risked their safety later for her. ^_^

    I don't know if I told you, but I LOVE the design of your blog. Purple is the best color in the world.

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    1. Thank you, Krystal! I love it too. My graphic designer put it together and I just can't say too much good about him. He does my cover design too.

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  29. I've never heard of Irena...but I'm so glad I read this post and discovered her story. What an amazing, amazing person! (Lovin' my copy of Moonless--still--by the way!!)

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    1. Yay! You just made my day/week/month. =)

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  30. She was a brave woman. Thanks for sharing her story.

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  31. Thanks for the introduction to Irena. She seems a courageous woman.

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  32. Truly inspiring, Crystal. What a brave woman, at a time when being brave meant possible death, or horrible suffering. A true hero, and to my shame, I've never heard her name before. Gives us hope, doesn't it, knowing people like Irena existed and hopefully still do, and are working their miracles in silence. Thank you for bringing her to life with your wonderful post.
    Silvia @
    SilviaWrites

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    1. So glad to share her with you, Silvia. =)

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  33. The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler is a Hallmark Spirit Clips movie https://www.hallmarkspiritclips.com
    I had heard of her before and am in awe of what she did. There are not many who would. But how grateful some must be for what she did.
    Donna Smith
    mainelywrite.blogspot.com

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    1. Ooh! I didn't know. Thank you for sharing.

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  34. I've heard about her from time to time, but never in much detail. She definitely sounds like an amazing woman!

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  35. I have heard of her, but not enough. Are there any books and/or movies about her life?

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    1. I don't know of any books, but two comments up, Donna pointed out a movie.

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  36. What an amazing woman and thank you so much for posting such a great informative writing on her. My in laws have so many stories from the holocaust that are just unimaginable. This was a truly inspiring one to read. Thank you!
    Katy Did

    Life's Ride In Between

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    1. It was such an awful time, and at the same time, there are so many inspiring people who rose from the ranks, eh?

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  37. That is a truly inspiring woman. I'd like to hope there are a lot more folks out there with her courage. :)

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  38. Wow, Crystal, this is truly inspiring. I'm embarrassed to say that I'd never heard of Irena until now. I really appreciate learning about her today; so often it's the villains we learn about, and not the courageous heroes. Thank you for posting this.

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    1. Glad to share, Liz. We have to look for the heroes, eh?

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  39. I hadn't heard of her before, but it sounds like she was a remarkable woman.

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  40. Thank you for this information on a truly amazing woman. It is a good reminder to always be on alert for opportunities to help (perhaps not on this scale, but it can't hurt, right?) I wonder what the world would be like if everyone was like Irena.

    Best regards,
    Elizabeth

    PS: Visiting from the A to Z sign up site

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    1. Elisabeth! Thank you for stopping in! I love making new friends.

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  41. Not long ago someone posted online a link to a video of a British guy who smuggled kids out of ... Oh, I forget where. Anyway, the clip was from the '80s, and unbeknownst to him, he was seated in the middle of a group of kids he had gotten out. (It was for some TV show at the time.) Brought tears to my eyes.

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  42. I believe I have a picture of Irena's tree and plaque from the Valley of the Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. One of my virtual cemeteries at Find a Grave is called Heroes of the Shoah, with people who helped to save others during that dark time in history.

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    1. Of course you would know about her, Carrie-Anne. =)

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  43. Now that was an inspiring story. Didn't know of Sendler before today. Definitely know I wouldn't have her courage.

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  44. She was an amazing person, and so brave. Wonderful post, Crystal.

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    1. Thanks, Patricia. (That's my mom's name too.)

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  45. I'd never heard of Irene before a year ago, but am always amazed at any of the people who risked their lives to smuggle children or adults during the Holocaust.

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  46. What an epic woman! I hope she's quiet enjoying some amazing hereafter somewhere! Returning your visit in the A-Z Challenge!

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    1. Thanks for the return visit. (From what I've read, she is.)

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  47. She was both passionate and compassionate. An amazing woman.

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  48. This is my first time hearing about Irena Sendler, I think. She sounds amazing! I can't imagine being that selfless...

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  49. Just stopping by from the A-Z List to say Hi and good luck with the rest of the challenge :)

    WOW! I LOVE your theme...so fascinating! xx

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    1. Thanks for stopping in, Vikki! Off to see your landing spot.

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  50. I haven't heard of Irena before. What a brave and inspiring lady!

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  51. Wow, that is one brave and amazing lady and I'd never heard of her before. Thank you for posting about her, what a woman.
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings - AtoZ (Vampires)
    FB3X - AtoZ (Erotic Drabbles)

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  52. It's great to know stories like this. A lady's bravery -- during that era when ladies were thought to be frail and homey -- is definitely inspiring.

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Hit me with your cheese!