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ERIC Number: EJ878906
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0037-7724
"Life in a Jar": A National History Day Project that Touched the World
Conard, Norman
Social Education, v74 n2 p62-64 Mar-Apr 2010
Few had heard of Irena Sendlerowa in 1999. Now, after more than 290 presentations of the student play "Life in a Jar," as well as a website with high traffic, and worldwide media attention, Irena is known to the world. Irena Sendler (as she became known), a social worker, believed in standing up for others. Her father, who was a doctor, had inspired her to serve the world. From 1939 to 1942, Irena made false documents for those in danger and worked to rescue children and adults from the Warsaw Ghetto with a network of 25 people. She then joined the Polish resistance movement, "Zegota". Irena had gone into the Warsaw Ghetto, warned Jewish parents and grandparents that all were going to die in the Ghetto or in death camps, and persuaded them to let her take their children away. She then had to take children past Nazi guards, or use another escape route out of the Ghetto, and then either arrange for their adoption by non-Jewish families, or hide them in convents and orphanages. She made lists of the children's real names, put the lists in jars, and then buried the jars in a garden so that she would be able to dig them up in the future, find the children, and tell them their real identities. At one point, the Nazis captured Irena and beat her severely, but the Polish Underground bribed a guard to release her. Irena then went into hiding. This article tells the story of three ninth graders, Megan Felt, Elizabeth Hutton, and Jessica Ripper, and an eleventh grader, Sabrina Murphy, who researched Irena; and their National History Day performance, "Life in a Jar."
National Council for the Social Studies. 8555 Sixteenth Street #500, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Tel: 800-683-0812; Tel: 301-588-1800; Fax: 301-588-2049; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 9
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Poland; United States