Jack Mayer – Life in a Jar


During World War II, Irena Sendler, a Polish Catholic social worker, organized a rescue network of fellow social workers to save 2,500 Jewish children from certain death in the Warsaw ghetto. Incredibly, after the war her heroism, like that of many others, was suppressed by communist Poland and remained virtually unknown for 60 years. Unknown, that is, until three high school girls from an economically depressed, rural school district in southeast Kansas stumbled upon a tantalizing reference to Sendler’s rescues, which they fashioned into a history project, a play they called Life in a Jar. Their innocent drama was first seen in Kansas, then the Midwest, then New York, Los Angeles, Montreal and finally Poland, where they elevated Irena Sendler to a national hero, championing her legacy of tolerance and respect for all people.

Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project is a Holocaust history and more. It is the inspirational story of Protestant students from Kansas, each called in her own complex way to the history of a Catholic woman who knocked on Jewish doors in the Warsaw ghetto and, in Sendler’s own words, “tried to talk the mothers out of their children”.

Author: Jack Mayer
Narrator: Patrick Lawlor
Duration: 14 hours 26 minutes
Released: 15 Jun 2010
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Language: English

User Review:

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What is so fascinating is that these high school students did all this research on her life in the late 1990’s and the Holocaust museum in Washington DC did not even have this information on her life. We visited the Holocaust museum in Washington DC in November 2018 and I had a marvelous discussion with the clerk in the bookstore about the resources they now had.
Irena Sendler was a social worker during the time Hitler invaded Poland. She would go into the ghetto where the Jews were held and work gained the trust of the parents to take the children to safety knowing the parents would be murdered in a concentration camp. She organized non-Jewish families to take these Jewish children until after the war. She documented all children’s parents and families in canning jars and they were buried in her friend’s backyard under an apple tree.
There is also a Hallmark movie on her life, THE COURAGEOUS HEART OF IRENA SENDLER. A PBS documentary of her life, IRENA SENDLER IN THE NAME OF THEIR MOTHERS: OUTWITTING THE NAZIS TO SAVE THOUSANDS OF JEWISH CHILDREN.