Life do us part

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.

A polish mother and child after the 1939 bombing of Warsaw

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.

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3 Responses to “Life do us part”

  1. Linda McCoy says:

    He should watch the 1982 movie “Sophie’s Choice.”

    His mother didn’t abandon him, she set him free.

  2. Helen says:

    It is so hard to be a mother. Adult children frequently hold their mother’s responsible for something like this; honestly, those children need to realize that most mother’s do the best they can in a given situation. A mother will do what ever it takes to “save” her child, even at the cost of her own life. This man should not be holding a grudge for 79 years. His life would probably have been more peaceful if had just accepted and learned what he could of his heritage, and thanked those who saved his life.

  3. Duchesse says:

    I’m trying to put myself in his place, hearing under his resentment his longing for his mother. He probably knows the chances were not good that they would survive, but his pain is not based on rational considerations. Yes, heart wrenching. Do you know if any children and parents were reunited?


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