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A Holocaust Rescuer: Irene Gut Opdyke

  • Irene was born

    Irene was born
    Irene had four sisters, their names were Jania, Marysia, Bronia, and Wladzia. Her mother was Maria Gut and her father was Wladyslaw Gut.
  • Period: to

    Irene Gut Opdyke's Lifespan

  • The Death of German President Paul von Hindenburg

    The Death of German President Paul von Hindenburg
    Adolf Hitler was appointed President on the same day taking the name Der Fuhrer.
  • Irene begins her studies to become a nurse in Radom

    This is not the exact date that she began her studies, the year is right though.
  • A sad time

    sadly in 1942 Irene witnessed Nazi soldiers throw a baby up in the air and shoot it dead (The day is not right). She was also was hired by Major Eduard Rügemer to work in a kitchen of a hotel. She would take food from the hotel and smuggle it to the local ghetto for jews. Later Rügemer asked her to work in his home where she smuggled 12 jews into the cellar, but he later found out about it and to keep him from telling on her she became his mistress.
  • Marriage

    She married William Opdyke and later had a daughter named Jeannie Smith.
  • Honor and Memory

    Honor and Memory
    In 1982, Irene was recognized and honored by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations. Yad Vashem (Hebrew: יָד ושֵם) is Israel's official memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, established in 1953 through the Yad Vashem Law passed by the Knesset, Israel's parliament.
  • Blessing

    On 9 June 1995, Irene Gut Opdyke was honored with a papal blessing from Pope John Paul II at a joint service of Jews and Catholics held at a synagogue in Irvine, California. The blessing had been obtained for her by Alan Boinus and by Monsignor Joseph Karp of the Polish Catholic Church in Yorba Linda, California. The blessing was the first recognition by the Roman Catholic Church of her heroic efforts during the Holocaust.
  • Opdyke vs. The Law

    In 1998 Opdyke's story was the subject of a lawsuit when she sought to regain the right to tell the "authorized" account of her life story, which she had previously assigned in a lawful motion-picture option agreement. Copyright attorney Carole Handler represented Opdyke and worked with the parties to reach an agreement. The case was dismissed with prejudice.
  • Book

    Opdyke's autobiography, In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer (ISBN 0385720327), was published in 1999 with the help of Alan Boinus, who helped secure her publisher Random House and co-author Jennifer Armstrong
  • Irene passed away

    Irene passed away
    She was 81 years old