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Irena Sendler was born into a Catholic family in Poland in 1910. Her father, a physician, instilled in her compassion for patients others refused to treat, particularly poor Jews. Throughout the German occupation in World War II, Irena worked tirelessly to help save Poland's Jews from the Nazi horror. Convincing Jewish families to give up their children and Catholic families to risk their own lives by taking them in, Irena saved at least 2,500 Jewish children from certain death during the Holocaust. By the time of her death in 2008, Irena had been honored by the governments of Poland and Israel, Pope John Paul II, and many of those she had rescued.