Holocaust: statue for Irena Sendler, who saved hundreds of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto to be unveiled in England

A statue is being unveiled in honour of a Polish civil servant who saved hundreds of Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto during World War Two, the BBC reports.

Employed by the Welfare Department of the Warsaw municipality. After the German occupation, the department continued to take care of the great number of poor and dispossessed people in the city. Irena Sendler took advantage of her job in order to help the Jews.

Irena Sendlerowa Irena Sendler 1942

She managed to obtain a permit from the municipality that enabled her to enter the ghetto to inspect the sanitary conditions.

Once inside the ghetto, she established contact with activists of the Jewish welfare organization and began to help them. She helped smuggle Jews out of the ghetto to the Aryan side and helped set up hiding places for them.

The sculpture of Irena Sendler, who passed away in May 2008, will stand in Newark, Nottinghamshire.

The town has several connections to Poland and plays home to a number of Polish war graves.

Town mayor Lisa Geary said the statue was a "fitting tribute" to Mrs Sendler's "inspirational" life.

During World War Two, Mrs Sendler - also known as Irena Sendlerowa - worked at the Department for Social Welfare and Public Health in German-occupied Poland.

She was part of a network of workers and volunteers in the department who smuggled Jewish children out of the Warsaw Ghetto.

She would provide them with false identity documents and find them shelter with Polish families or in care facilities.

In October 1943 Mrs Sendler was arrested by the Gestapo.

She withstood torture and imprisonment and was sentenced to death but escaped on the day of her scheduled execution after the guards escorting her were bribed.

Ms Geary said: "Newark is honoured to be able to provide a location for this statue which will be a fitting tribute to the life of Irena Sendler.

"Her story is truly inspirational, one of selfless service to others."

The statue will be placed at Fountain Gardens.

Sculptor Andrew Lilley said he had spent six months creating the tribute, which was largely funded by the Institute of Polish Remembrance.

"While I was sculpting I played video recordings of Holocaust survivors sharing their experiences and I took inspiration from an image of a Syrian refugee who was holding a baby," he said.

"I really tried to replicate the stress she would have been under."

The institute offered the statue to Newark, which has a significant number of Polish war graves.

Former Polish prime minister Władysław Sikorski is also buried at Newark Cemetery.

Image (Irena Sendler): by Unknown author - Teresa Prekerowa "Konspiracyjna Rada Pomocy Żydom w Warszawie 1942-1945"( The underground Council to Aid Jews in Warsaw 1942-1945) Warszawa 1982 ISBN 83-06-00622-4. Immediate source: Irena Sendler 1943 (2) online., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/...

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