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"When the war started, all of Poland was drowning in a sea of blood. And within that nation, it was the children who suffered most.That's why we needed to give our hearts to them," Sendler said on ABC News. Sendler, "Jolanta," was put in charge of the Children's Division of Zegota.She would be forced to leave empty-handed, returning the next day to find that the entire family had been sent to Treblinka.Many in the Ghetto thought that Treblinka was a relocation settlement.Irena felt that her efforts were helping only to prolong the suffering, but doing nothing to save lives.She decided that the most that could be done was to try to save the children.In the 1930s, at Warsaw University, she stood up for her Jewish friends.Jews were forced to sit separately from "Aryan" students.
Sometimes, she would finally convince the parents, only to be met with the grandparents' adamant refusal.She takes the crying baby into her arms, turns her back on the hysterical mother, and walks off into the night. Irena did all she could to ensure that "her children" would have a future as part of their own people. Sendler listed the name and new identity of every rescued child on thin cigarette papers or tissue paper. Others were saving Jewish children, too, but many of those children were saved only in body; tragically, they disappeared from the Jewish people.The penalty of death to every family found harboring a Jew was not always enforced, but some 700 people were killed because of it.Many of the children had to be hidden in orphanages and convents.
The hardest part was convincing parents to part with their children.