The Polish nurse who risked her life to save countless Jews during the Holocaust


Born in 1919 in Poland, Irene Gut Opdyke was a Polish nurse who became famous due to her actions during the Holocaust. She risked her life to save countless Jews during one of the darkest periods in human history.

It was in 1939 when Opdyke was studying nursing in Poland and the Nazis invaded the country. Over the next couple of years, she got a firsthand experience of the horrors of the Holocaust. She decided to help the victims in any way she could.

In 1942, she was forced to work as a nurse for the German army. She got assigned to a camp where she encountered a lot of Jewish prisoners. Despite the constant threat of danger, she began to smuggle food and medicine to the prisoners, and she eventually found a way to hide 12 Jews in her basement in the villa where she was working.

She knew that she will be punished if she was caught helping the prisoners yet she continued to do it while putting her own life on the line every day. She made sure the prisoners had adequate food, medicine, and clean clothing. She also protected the prisoners from discovery by the Nazi soldiers. Eventually, a Nazi officer did find out that she was hiding the prisoners under his nose, but he agreed to keep it a secret on the condition that she becomes his mistress.

After the war was over, she immigrated to the United States. She devoted the rest of her life to sharing her story and promoting a message of hope and peace. She became an American citizen and was awarded numerous honors for her bravery, including the title of Righteous Among the Nations by the government of Israel.

Her story is a good example of the difference that one person can make during times of oppression. Her courage and selflessness in the face of Nazi oppression inspired many people to stand up against hate and prejudice. Her legacy continues to inspire people of all ages and backgrounds.

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