Righteous Gentile

Against the Grain has the full story of Irena Sendler, who died yesterday at the age of 98. She headed the children's bureau of Zegota, an underground organization created to save Polish Jews, and smuggled some 2500 Jewish kids from the Warsaw Ghetto during WWII.
She worked in the Warsaw health department and had permission to enter the ghetto, which had been set up in November 1940 to segregate the city's 380,000 Jews.

She and her team smuggled the children out by variously hiding them in ambulances, taking them through the sewer pipes or other underground passageways, wheeling them out on a trolley in suitcases or boxes or taking them out through the old courtyard which led to the non-Jewish areas.

She noted the names of the children on cigarette papers, twice for security, and sealed them in two glass bottles, which she buried in a colleague's garden.

After the war the bottles were dug up and the lists handed to Jewish representatives.
She was caught and punished for this:
She was arrested in October 1943 and taken to Gestapo headquarters where she was beaten. Her legs and feet were broken and she was then driven away to be executed. But a rucksack of dollars paid by Zegota secured her release. She was knocked unconscious and left by the roadside.
She had to rely on crutches ever after. Nevertheless in an interview she once said
I was brought up to believe that a person must be rescued when drowning, regardless of religion and nationality. The term 'hero' irritates me greatly. The opposite is true. I continue to have pangs of conscience that I did so little.
Do read the whole post.