Regular readers of this blog will not be surprised to find yet another post about the things that I have stumbled up on the internet. They may, however, be surprised at the contents of this post.
This is a story about a lady named Irena Sendler. She doesn’t have a Nobel Peace Prize. Nothing so surprising about that. Many people don’t have a Nobel Peace Prize. She, however, is credited with saving some 2500 infants and children from the Natzi’s during the second world war. She’s a mostly unknown figure, her claim to fame coming when four high-school kids from Kansas wrote a play about her called “Life in a Jar”.
During the Second World War, she got a job as a plumber to the Jewish Slums, and used to smuggle children out either in a burlap sack in the back of her truck, or in a fake bottom in her toolbox. She wrote the names of these children down, and kept them hidden in a glass jar that she kept in her back garden. She passed away age 98 of pneumonia in Poland on the 12 of May, 2008. She’s not known about because no-one wrote an academy-award winning film about her.
She saved all those lives. She doesn’t have a Nobel Peace Prize. She is probably one of many unsung heros and heroines from the Second World War. No-one knows about them, so they don’t have a Nobel Peace Prize.
Yet somehow, Irena Sendler managed to get nominated for one. At least, it is commonly thought that she was. The nominees are kept secret for fifty years, so hopefully I will be able to verify this story then. Even if she wasn’t nominated, she should have been.
She didn’t get the Nobel Peace Prize. Al Gore did. Al Gore got a Peace prize for his documentary “An Inconvenient Truth”.
I would say that the inconvenient truth is that people today have forgotten the horrors of the Second World War. We only see the documentaries, that is, we see them come up on TV, and turn over to find something else. We know it was bad. We don’t want to be reminded. It’s inconvenient.
I wasn’t born anywhere near the world war. I hear of war all the time on the T.V., but I don’t really understand it. I have this concept that “war is hell” because the T.V. tells me so. IF you do remember the war, tell someone. If you don’t remember the war, find someone who knows and ask them about it. Get them to tell you why it is so important we never forget. Why it is so important that we never, ever again let that happen to our world.
The end of the Second World War was meant to be an end to war. That went well, didn’t it?
Irena Sendler doesn’t have a Nobel Peace Prize. There are at least 2500 people who are a alive today because of her. The Natzi’s when they discovered her broke her arms and legs, and tortured her. She wasn’t the only one they tortured. She wasn’t the only one that tried to do something for the people who were being horribly persecuted.
An Inconvenient Truth has a Nobel Peace Prize. In this world, today, right now, there are people suffering. There are people being tortured, people being subjected, living in tents. There are people doing everything they can to help these people to rescue them. We don’t know who they are.
We found out who Irena Sendler was. She didn’t get a Nobel Peace Prize. She didn’t get one, because we’ve forgotten. We’ve forgotten the sounds of the air-raid siren, the noise of the bombs, the terror, the fear. The watching for the letter to drop on the door mat to tell us that our Dad, our brother, our son isn’t coming home. We have forgotten because the world is a little better. They made it a better place for us. They paid a terrible, expensive price. They paid the ultimate price. Their families paid the price. Do we remember how much it cost?
We didn’t honour Irena Sendler. We hardly know about her, about the others like her. We don’t care. We don’t want to remember. Our inconveinient truth is that we can’t face our own fear, we can’t face the horror that was the Second World War.
The least we could have done was give the woman a Nobel Peace Prize. At least in some way we could have shown her that we are greatfull. Not just to her, but to everyone that hasn’t got one and should.
The world has forgotten so quickly. Will you?