Hallmark will debut “The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler” in April. Based on the true story of a social worker who saved 2,500 Jewish children during the German occupation of Poland, the movie examines how she risked her own life to save thousands of others. As a Catholic social worker, Sendler gained access to the Warsaw ghetto and was angry at the conditions and treatment she was witnessing. Hallmark documents that “at great personal risk she devised extraordinary schemes to sneak children by Nazi guards, bringing them out in ambulances, suitcases, and even wheelbarrows.”
Sendler created an underground network of helpers, mostly women, who were willing to risk death and imprisonment to save the lives of innocent children. She was eventually caught by the Gestapo and imprisoned for three months, but didn’t release any information about her secret life. Irena Sendler never sought recognition but was a hero and this film documents her passionate, dangerous, and unknown path to dramatically alter the course of many lives during the Holocaust.
NASW commends the Hallmark channel for providing an insightful and educational look into a social worker who few know about today, but who deserves recognition.