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Senate Concurrent Resolution 96--Commemorating Irena Sendler, a Woman Whose Bravery Saved the Lives of Thousands During the Holocaust and Remembering Her Legacy of Courage, Selflessness, and Hope

Floor Speech

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Location: Washington, DC


SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 96--COMMEMORATING IRENA SENDLER, A WOMAN WHOSE BRAVERY SAVED THE LIVES OF THOUSANDS DURING THE HOLOCAUST AND REMEMBERING HER LEGACY OF COURAGE, SELFLESSNESS, AND HOPE. -- (Senate - July 29, 2008)

Mr. REID (for Mr. OBAMA (for himself and Mr. SPECTER)) submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary:

S. Con. Res. 96

Whereas on May 12, 2008, Irena Sendler, a living example of social justice, died at the age of 98;

Whereas Irena Sendler repeatedly risked her life during the Holocaust to rescue over 2,500 Jewish children who lived in the Warsaw ghetto in Poland from Nazi extermination;

Whereas Irena Sendler was inspired by her father, a physician who treated poor Jewish patients, to dedicate her life to others;

Whereas Irena Sendler became an activist at the start of World War II, heading the clandestine group Zegota and driving an underground movement that provided safe passage for Jews from the Warsaw ghetto who faced disease, execution, or deportation to concentration camps;

Whereas Irena Sendler became 1 of the most successful workers within Zegota, taking charge of the children's division and using her senior position with the welfare department in Warsaw to gain access to and from the ghetto to build a network of allies to help ferry Jewish children from the Warsaw ghetto;

Whereas Irena Sendler was arrested by the Gestapo on October 20, 1943, tortured, and sentenced to death by firing squad;

Whereas Irena Sendler never revealed details of her contacts, escaped from Pawiak prison, and continued her invaluable work with Zegota;

Whereas in 1965, Irena Sendler was recognized as ``Righteous Among the Nations'' by the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Israel;

Whereas in 2006, Irena Sendler was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize;

Whereas Irena Sendler was awarded the Order of the White Eagle, the highest civilian decoration in Poland;

Whereas ``Tzedek: The Righteous'', a documentary film, and ``Life in a Jar'', a play about the rescue efforts made by Irena Sendler, chronicle the life of Irena Sendler;

Whereas Irena Sendler, a woman who risked everything for the lives of others and whose bravery is unimaginable to many, expressed guilt for not being able to do more for the Jewish people; and

Whereas the story of Irena Sendler reminds citizens of the United States and the world community not only of the horrible cruelty at the time of the Holocaust, but also the incredible difference one person can make: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), That Congress--

(1) mourns the loss of Irena Sendler, a woman whose bravery and heroic efforts saved over 2,500 Jewish children during the Holocaust;

(2) pays respect and extends condolences to the Sendler family;

(3) honors the legacy of courage, selflessness, and hope that Irena Sendler exhibited; and

(4) remembers the life and unwavering dedication to justice and human rights of Irena Sendler.


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