A Jewish mother, living with her three-year-old son in the Warsaw ghetto in 1939, knows both their lives are in danger. She might be able to save her boy’s life if she listens to a young Catholic social worker, offering to smuggle him out. The mother decides that’s what she wants to do.
Soon after, the Nazis kill her. Her son, in the meantime, is given a Catholic birth certificate and Catholic identity papers and sent to a convent in the surrounding countryside. He survives the war and grows up to be a successful man.
To this day, he resents his mother for giving him up. “How could she do this?” he asks.
This is a true story. Irena Sendler and a group of her close friends and colleagues outfoxed the Nazis and saved the lives of thousands of Jewish children. They kept secret records of the children’s real identities, hoping they might be reunited with their parents after the war, or, at the least, know their heritage. It didn’t matter to the one little boy. Now 74, he still hurts from his mother’s abandonment.
Sometimes, mothers do things their children do not understand. It is heart wrenching for everyone.