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House honors Sendler

The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously voted to honor a Righteous Gentile.

The non-binding resolution, initiated by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), honors Irena Sendler, who died in May at 98 in her native Poland. It passed Wednesday. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) has sponsored a similar resolution in the Senate.

Sendler smuggled supplies into the Warsaw ghetto during the Nazi occupation, and then smuggled out up to 2,500 children. She hid documents tracking their whereabouts so she could reunite them with their families after World War II.

The Nazis captured her but even under torture she would not reveal the children’s whereabouts.

“I introduced this resolution with the hope that Irena Sendler’s legacy would help inspire people to fight for human rights and social justice,” Schakowsky, who is Jewish, said in remarks in the House. “Her heroic story reminds us that the actions of one person can make a real difference in this world. As the Talmud teaches, ‘Whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world.’ There is no higher act of selflessness than to protect people that cannot defend themselves.”

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