Tags: Irena Sendler

Life in a Jar

A play written by students from a rural Kansas school as a result of a research project for National History Day. Two ninth graders, Megan Stewart and Elizabeth Cambers, and an eleventh grader, Sabrina Coons researched the story of Irena Sendler, a Polish social worker in the Warsaw Ghetto who, between 1939 and 1942, helped rescue children from the ghetto by smuggling them past Nazi guards. Sendler then adopted the children into Polish homes or orphanages by giving them false identity papers. She and her network made lists of the children’s real names and put the lists in jars, which were then buried in a Warsaw garden under an apple tree so that the names could one day be used to help the children find their true identity and reconnect with their families after the war. The play has been performed over 300 times in the U.S. and Europe, and the students made several visits to Poland to meet Irena before she passed away in 2008.

Under the Apple Tree

Over 2,500 Jewish children were rescued from the Warsaw Ghetto by Polish nurse and social worker, Irena Sendler. At great personal risk, she smuggled children out of the ghetto providing them with false identity papers and keeping their true identities safe in the hopes of reuniting them with their families when the war ended. Their names were kept in glass jars and buried under the apple tree of a house in Warsaw.