“You see a man drowning, you must try to save him even if you cannot swim.”
Irena Sendler (15 February 1910 - 12 May 2008) was a Polish woman who worked as a nurse/social worker during World War II. She was also head of Żegota, an underground resistance organization in German-occupied Warsaw. She, along with other Żegota members, smuggled more than 2,500 Jewish children out of ghettos by way of ambulances, boxes, and other discrete means. The children were given false documents and scattered across the country. Sendler kept a record of all the children she saved and kept these names in a jar. The Nazis eventually discovered her, and though she was brutally tortured, she did not give up the names of those she had saved–nor did she give up the names of those who had helped her.