By Sarah Levesque
The German guard would never let me enter if he knew what I was planning. I had to be calm, confident, charismatic to get by him, or I’d be shot. Or worse. Getting out would be harder – I’d have to use all my acting skills to brazen my way back out of the ghetto with the Jewish children hidden in the ambulance. Thank God they knew how to be quiet, far better than I had as a child. They had learned from the fear of their elders.
I showed my papers. They were all in order. They had to be for me to pull this off. I flirted a bit as the guard checked the ambulance, and was finally allowed into the ghetto. I sighed inwardly with relief – the first part was over.
I was a familiar face here. I handed out food, clothes and blankets, I gave simple medical care, I talked with the residents of the ghetto, and I quietly collected children in my ambulance. Then it was time to leave. Time to act again. I took a deep breath. Calm, confident, charismatic.
I showed my papers again. They were still in order, of course. I flirted again as my ambulance was given a cursory glance.
Finally I was allowed to continue. Again I breathed a sigh of relief, this one probably audible to the children hidden in my ambulance.
We were free.
[Based on the life of Irena Sendler (née Krzyżanowska)]