Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day. I find that really interesting, seeing as how Hitler’s birthday was yesterday and Sunday was the premiere of this amazing new movie, The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler

I’d never heard of this woman, Irena Sendler, but within minutes of turning on this movie, I was captivated and intrigued. I had to learn more about her and what she had done. 

Irena risked her life for the Jews in World War 2. She consistently went into the ghetto of Warsaw to smuggle children out and into safety — sometimes going in 3 times in one day. She disguised herself as a nurse and was able to sneak out 2,500 children before she was captured.

After spending three months being tortured in prison, including having her legs and feet broken, and then being scheduled for execution, Irena was helped to escape. Her friends in the underground managed to bribe a guard to let her go before she had a chance to be executed. 

Even then, she still did what she could to help others… even as she was in hiding herself. She died on May 12th, 2008.

As I watched and read the story of Irena’s courage, it struck me how much she embodied the commands to love God and love others. To “love your neighbor as yourself” [Luke 10:27]. She constantly put herself in danger to the point that she knew she had a huge chance of never coming out of the ghetto again. She knew she might never come home. And yet she cared so much for the children she was saving and for their families — and for God — that her own life didn’t matter to her as much as theirs did. 

That is true courage. 

Just think if we all cared that much.. even for just a few people. Think what an impact that would have in the world where we live.