Remember This Lady

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The email came in from a friend and it said:

A repeat, but we need to be reminded…….
Subject: Remember this lady
Irena Sendler Died: May 12, 2008 (aged 98)  Warsaw, Poland

During WWII, Irena, got permission to work in the Warsaw ghetto, as a Plumbing/Sewer specialist. She had an ulterior motive.
Irena smuggled Jewish infants out in the bottom of the tool box she carried.
She also carried a burlap sack in the back of her truck, for larger kids.
Irena kept a dog in the back that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto.
The soldiers, of course, wanted nothing to do with the dog and the barking covered the kids/infants noises.
During her time of doing this, she managed to smuggle out and save 2500 kids/infants.
Ultimately, she was caught, however, and the Nazi’s broke both of her legs and arms and beat her severely.
Irena kept a record of the names of all the kids she had smuggled out,
In a glass jar that she buried under a tree in her back yard.
After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived and tried to reunite the family.
Most had been gassed. Those kids she helped got placed into foster family homes or adopted.

In 2007 Irena was up for the Nobel Peace Prize. She was not selected.
Al Gore won, for a slide show on Global Warming.
Later another politician,
Barack Hussein Obama, won for his work as a community organizer for ACORN.

IN MEMORIAM- 65 YEARS LATER.

I’m doing my small part by forwarding this message.
I hope you’ll consider doing the same.
It is now more than 65 years since the Second World War in Europe ended.

This e-mail is being sent as a memorial chain,
In memory of the six million Jews, 20 million Russians, 10 million Christians and 1,900 Catholic priests
Who were murdered, massacred, raped, burned, starved and humiliated!

Now, more than ever, with Iran, and others, claiming the HOLOCAUST to be ‘a myth’, It’s imperative to make sure the world never forgets,

Because there are others who would like to do it again.

The email is certainly an emotional plea – and it uses no logic at all, actually.  There is no “If A, then B, If B, then C; Therefore, if A, then C.”

So why would someone create, start and distribute such an email?

Well, first of all, the email originated before June of 2008 – about4 years ago – during a political campaign year (gee, could that have something to do with it?)  At that time, it only mentioned Al Gore, not President Obama.  Since it mentions that award (The Nobel Peace Prize 2007), which, by the way, was awarded jointly to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Albert Arnold (Al) Gore Jr. “for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change”, that might have been part of the incentive.  Whatever the trigger, the email is subtle and not.

There is no explicit logic, but an association is distinctly implied.  Here is an unsung hero whose rightful recognition has been usurped by unworthy politicians.  After all, if Al Gore could win the Peace Prize for “a slide show on Global Warming” (clearly a slanted interpretation of the actual award and for what it was awarded – check out the actual Nobel Award site (cited above).)  Then the slur extends to President Obama (Clue: the way his middle name is used in the email…..)

So we are to assume that real heroes are beat out by “politicians” – something EVERYONE has, by the way…… and – if we don’t forward this email on, we are besmirching the memory of the many millions “murdered, massacred, raped, burned, starved and humiliated!” – Humiliated?  I’m sorry, does that sound appropriate to be in the list with murdered, massacred, raped, burned, starved?  Well, it does allow us to “accurately” include more millions than if we only limited it to the first five categories….

But, accuracy does not seem to be a concern in the early part of the email.  I invite you to read about this amazing woman, Irena, the group to which she belonged, Zegota, and all that they did – and about how she was ignored (and why), recognized (by whom) and commended.  The few details about her in the email are less than accurate.

  • Email Claim: During WWII, Irena, got permission to work in the Warsaw ghetto, as a Plumbing/Sewer specialist.
  • Irena Bio: Irena was an administrator at the Warsaw Social Work Department during the war.  She did pose as a nurse in the Ghetto from time to time
  • Email Claim:Irena smuggled Jewish infants out in the bottom of the tool box she carried. She also carried a burlap sack in the back of her truck, for larger kids.
    Irena kept a dog in the back that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto. The soldiers, of course, wanted nothing to do with the dog and the barking covered the kids/infants noises.
  • Irena Bio: She had a network of helpers (twenty-five social workers – 24f/1m at one time) who rescued people (adults and children) from the Warsaw Ghetto, made false papers for them and found hiding. The majority of the rescue work of taking children out of the Warsaw Ghetto was done in the summer of 1942 in a three-month period.  The most famous of the child survivors, Elzbieta Ficowska, was rescued at five months in a carpenters box.  Most of the rescues did not involve babies. The first children they took off the streets were the orphans.  The network used dozens of ways to rescue children, including using a dog on a couple of occasions.  The most common route was through the old courthouse.
  • Email Claim: During her time of doing this, she managed to smuggle out and save 2500 kids/infants.
  • Irena Bio: The underground group Zegota was founded in the fall of 1942; Irena became the head of the children’s division and they would eventually find hiding for 2,500 children. IMPORTANT: The number 2,500 must be understood.  This number represents the number taken out of the Ghetto and the number already in hiding (which Irena and her network would move from place to place).
  • Email Claim: Ultimately, she was caught, however, and the Nazi’s broke both of her legs and arms and beat her severely.
  • Irena Bio:Irena was caught by the Gestapo and put in Pawiak Prison.  She was tortured and had a leg and foot fractured.  Zegota bribed a guard to have Irena released in the night to a member of the Underground.  She was scheduled to be executed. She remained in hiding throughout the rest of the war.

What she really did – that was amazing, by the way.  More details are on this site:

http://www.irenasendler.com/thestory.asp

The site also claims that Irena specifically asked the Nobel Peace Committee not to nominate her for the award in 2007 since the award is specifically for recent efforts. Irena Sendler was the 2003 winner of the Jan Karski award for Valor and Courage, awarded on October 23, 2003 in Washington, D.C.

And, of course, there is the little anti-Iran tidbit thrown in at the end.  This is not about logic, even faulty logic.  But the crafters of the email are very rationalizing – the art of starting with a conclusion you want and building a case to support it – not with facts – with emotional tug strings in this case.  And the logic they imply and employ in their efforts is faulty.

Some of the questions to be asked when you get an email like this is:

  • What is the real story?
  • Why is it being cast in these misty garments?
  • What conclusions am I (and those I am asked to forward it onto) supposed to draw?
  • What’s the real agenda?
  • If one supports that agenda, is this an appropriate tool?

Oh – details about the original:

http://www.snopes.com/politics/war/sendler.asp

In alphabetical order, the logical fallacies invoked in this email (Check chart page for more details):

  • Anecdotal
  • Appeal to Emotion
  • Bandwagon
  • Composition / division
  • False Cause
  • No True Scotsman
  • The Texas Sharpshooter

I hope this analysis helps you analyze things you read, hear and see with better logic tools (if you can, do take a class in Logic – it can be lots of fun).  And I hope you enjoyed my insights, regardless of your politic, leanings or other agendas.  We all have agendas!

Thanks for reading!

Shafir

 

Hello world!

This is a new blog – and I already have more than I can manage already.  So, I am letting some of them go by the way side.

This blog was stimulated by the many emails and funky websites out there that seek to manipulate our emotions and get us to make faulty conclusions – or at least “feel” a certain way about something.  (The not so gentle art of pushy persuasion)

So I thank Andrea for the stimulus that helped me see this blog was needed and I dedicate it to the memory of my parents who did many remarkable things, even though most of them will never be recorded anywhere.

Happy blogging!