Schultz Irena

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“You can be calm about the child” – the story of Irena Schultz

During the war, Irena Schulz, a journalist, had worked in the Municipal  Department of Health and Social Welfare in Warsaw. Already at the beginning of the German occupation, she became engaged in help  for Jews in the ghetto, organized by Irena Sendler. She possessed a permit to enter the ghetto, which allowed her to bring in food, clothing, and medicine. She was one of Żegota’s [Council for Aid to Jews] first members.

Irena also took an active part in the rescue of Jewish children. She co-operated with CENTOS, a care institution for children in the ghetto. On behalf of Żegota, Irena Schultz led out many Jewish children out of the ghetto right before its liquidation, and placed them on the “Aryan” side. Helena Szeszko (nickname “Sonia,” a nurse who was also employed at the Department of Health and Social Welfare, helped Irena smuggle out the children.

Some children, who were led out by Schultz and Szeszko, ended up in the Father Boduen Home, an institution for foundlings, located in the Śródmieście district. Schultz came into contact with one of the Home’s employees – Władysława Marynowska, a guardian at the Home, and asked her for help in safely placing children who were smuggled out. The information about a planned drop off of a child was usually given over the phone, in a code that included a description of the child’s appearance and the time of its arrival.

Irena Schultz was very worried about the fate of the first child which was accepted into the institution. The Home was under strict Gestapo control. However, Irena Sendler calmed her down with the words: “You can be calm about the child. Władka Marynowska is there.” Irena Sendler also appreciated the activities of Irena Schultz’s co-worker, Helena Szeszko. She described her as an irreplaceable person thanks to her underground contacts and great initiative.

Schulz was also involved in organizing false papers. She arranged for some number of Jewish intellectuals to receive “Aryan papers” and hiding places outside the ghetto walls. She made her own house available for the sake of underground activities. It served as a transfer place and temporary shelter for Jewish children and other escapees from the ghetto.

She was awarded the “Righteous among the Nations” medal in 1969.

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