Irena's Children by Tilar Mazzeo
The Extraordinary Story of the Woman Who Saved 2,500 Children from the Warsaw Ghetto

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Mazzeo chronicles a ray of hope in desperate times in this compelling biography of a brave woman who refused to give up.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Widow Clicquot comes an extraordinary and gripping account of Irena Sendler—the “female Oskar Schindler”—who took staggering risks to save 2,500 children from death and deportation in Nazi-occupied Poland during World War II.

In 1942, one young social worker, Irena Sendler, was granted access to the Warsaw ghetto as a public health specialist. While she was there, she began to understand the fate that awaited the Jewish families who were unable to leave. Soon she reached out to the trapped families, going from door to door and asking them to trust her with their young children. Driven to extreme measures and with the help of a network of local tradesmen, ghetto residents, and her star-crossed lover in the Jewish resistance, Irena ultimately smuggled thousands of children past the Nazis. She made dangerous trips through the city’s sewers, hid children in coffins, snuck them under overcoats at checkpoints, and slipped them through secret passages in abandoned buildings.

But Irena did something even more astonishing at immense personal risk: she kept a secret list buried in bottles under an old apple tree in a friend’s back garden. On it were the names and true identities of these Jewish children, recorded so their families could find them after the war. She could not know that more than ninety percent of their families would perish.

Irena’s Children, “a fascinating narrative of…the extraordinary moral and physical courage of those who chose to fight inhumanity with compassion” (Chaya Deitsch author of Here and There: Leaving Hasidism, Keeping My Family), is a truly heroic tale of survival, resilience, and redemption.
 

About Tilar Mazzeo

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TILAR MAZZEO is the Clara C. Piper Associate Professor of English at Colby College and the bestselling author of books on wine, luxury, and French history, including The Widow Clicquot, The Secret of Chanel No. 5, Back Lane Wineries of Napa, and The Hotel on the Place Vendome.

Author Residence: California wine country, New York, and Maine
 
Published September 27, 2016 by Gallery Books. 337 pages
Genres: History, Biographies & Memoirs, War, Travel. Non-fiction
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Kirkus

Good
on Jun 21 2016

Mazzeo chronicles a ray of hope in desperate times in this compelling biography of a brave woman who refused to give up.

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NY Journal of Books

Above average
Reviewed by Charles S. Weinblatt on Jun 01 2018

This book is impeccably researched, and it captures the heart of Irena Sendler; however, it would greatly benefit from the addition of pictures, maps, diagrams, or any other visual tool. Perhaps they will be added to the book beyond the galley this reviewer received.

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