Timeline of Irena Sendler’s Life and the Life in a Jar Project
1910- Irena born in Otwock, Poland
1917– School yard incident where Irena stands up for Jewish children
1918– Father dies of typhus
1937– Anti-semitic laws in Poland – college incident
1939– Poland has over 3 million Jews, the largest Jewish population in the world
1939- World War II begins – German invasion of Poland from west on September 1, Russia invasion from the East on September 17
1939- Irena makes false documents for Jewish families
1940– October 16th– The Warsaw Ghetto is established
1942– Spring brings deportations to Treblinka starts for the Warsaw Ghetto
1942- 2,500 children now have been saved and hidden
1942- Irena becomes head of Zegota children’s division
1942– Treblinka becomes the major death camp for the Warsaw Ghetto
1943- April – The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising begins – Irena smuggles guns
1943- October 20, Irena arrested by the Gestapo
1943- After 8 weeks in Pawiak Prison, Irena is rescued
1945– January 27, Auschwitz is liberated by Russian Red Army
1945- War ends and communism takes over Poland
1946– Poland’s Jewish population is under 200,000
1946– Irena is blacklisted by communist government
1948- First of ‘Irena’s children’ taken to Israel
1965- Yad Vashem recognizes Irena as a Righteous Gentile and plants tree
1989- Communism falls in Poland
1998- U.H.S. students complete 40th diversity project
September 23,1999- Girls in Uniontown, KS decide on Irena as a topic for National History Day
September 23, 1999– Adam, Irena’s son, passes away in Poland
1999- Only one web site on internet mentions Irena. She is unknown to the world.
1999- Life in a Jar play is written
2000- Girls find Irena is still alive and start writing her
2000- First national and regional press interviews of the girls
May 2001- Students, parents Norm travel to Poland to see Irena
May 2001- Story of Irena breaks with AP, USAToday, CNN, BBC, etc.
May 2001- Child survivor that was rescued by Irena calls the students “rescuers of Irena’s story for the world.”
May 2001- 1 of the 3 founders of the project graduates from high school
March 2002- Irena Sendler Day in Kansas City
July 2002- Students take 2nd trip to Poland and conduct 24 primary interviews
April 2003- Students begin Irena Sendler and Life in a Jar website: www.irenasendler.org
2003- 2 of the 3 founders of the project graduate from high school
2003- Howard and Ro Jacobson begin scholarship program for U.H.S.
2003- Irena receives letter from Pope John Paul II
2003- Irena is recognized by President of Poland
November 2004- 150th presentation of LIAJ
February 2005- Irena’s 95th birthday
May 2005- Students travel to Poland on 3rd trip to see Irena with much press and successful presentations.
June 2005- Irena Sendler Day in Warsaw
June 2005- Life in a Jar presents to 200 child survivors in Zakopane, Poland.
August 2005- Irena Sendler website reaches 1.5 million hits
April 2006– The 1st Irena Sendler Teaching Award is presented in Warsaw
May 2006– 200th presentation of Life in a Jar in New Bedford, Mass
January 2007– Irena is nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
2007– Mandatory Holocaust education begins in Polish schools.
August 2007– Lowell Milken Center opens, with Irena exhibit
2007– Irena does not receive the Nobel Peace Prize, but receives much acclaim.
April 2008– Students visit Irena in Poland for the 5th trip and help present the 2nd annual Irena Sendler Award to a teacher in Poland.
May 3, 2008- The last time several of the students and Norm see Irena in Warsaw
May 12, 2008– Irena passes on at age 98
May 12, 2008– Megan Stewart Felt’s birthday (plays Irena)
September 2008– Thousands of American schools work on Irena projects.
October 2008– 250th presentation of Life in a Jar in Vermont
2008– The Polish Embassy in Israel honors Irena with a stamp.
January 2009– A musical score is written about Irena and presented at a distinguised concert in Israel.
April 2009– Hallmark Hall of Fame presents ‘The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler.’ Wins two Emmys.
2010– The Life in a Jar presentation reaches 300 presentations
2010– Poland’s Jewish population is about 25,000. This is 5,000 less than the Jewish population of Kansas City.
August 2010– Life in a Jar: the Irena Sendler Project comes out as a book.
2014– 50 million hits on Irena Sendler website since students started site in 2003.
2015– 3,000 media stories on Life in a Jar: the Irena Sendler Project
2016– New Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes opens with dynamic Irena Sendler exhibit
2017– Life in a Jar: the Irena Sendler Project is in top three of all 8,000 Holocaust books on amazon.com for 7th straight year
2017– Poland 2017– Group tour to Poland to revisit Irena sites for 32 people. There were visits with child survivors (Bieta Ficowska included), the tree site, Warsaw Ghetto, Pawiak, grave of Irena, Rabbi Schudrich and many more.
2018– Irena Sendler Year in Poland