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The imprisonment torture and death of nearly 17 million men women and children during the Holocaust are considered one of the most horrific events in human history The Nazis persecuted individuals from a variety of backgrounds through isolation removal from society enslavement and then eventual execution While so many lives were lost in the Holocaust there were many individuals underground organizations and networks that worked to harbor and save these individuals They did so while risking the loss of status within their own country and even their own life or the lives of their families What was it within these individuals that seemed to drive them to make these decisions during such tumultuous times in world history What within their own spiritual make up carried them through the fears they must have faced This paper will address the stories of several individuals and their own account of the times the personal choices and decisions they faced and the ethical choices they made that played such an important role in our world history Irena Sendler Poland 1910-2008Irena Sendler was viewed as rebellious long before the German invasion of Poland As a student at the University of Warsaw she was scorned by her anti-Semitic classmates because she sat with the Jewish students in the segregated lecture halls She also protested when Jewish students were forced to sit separately on a ghetto bench I always sat with the Jews she said showing them my solidarity Rubin page 4 Irena came by her pedigree of a courageous humanitarian rightly Her great-grandfather was banished to Siberia for anti-Czarist activity Her own father a medical doctor who died from typhus in 1917 after treating patients that had been abandoned by their own physicians because they were Jews and contracted the disease was also a great inspiration for Irena He taught her at a young age to serve others The influence of these two men on Irenas life clearly played a
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