Gal Gadot made her name a household name when she took on the character of Wonder Woman. Now she is taking on the role of another powerful woman who saved thousands of lives during World War II.
Gadot, a former Israel Defense Forces combat instructor, is producing and staring in a new film about a Polish Christian activist who put her life on the line to save 2,500 Jewish children during the Holocaust.
Gadot announced on Friday that she and her husband have formed a new production company called Pilot Wave, and she will star in its first production as Righteous Gentile Irena Sendler, who smuggled thousands of Jewish children out of the Warsaw ghetto to safety.
The historical thriller, titled Irena Sendler, will detail the woman who took a stand against the Nazis in order to save innocent lives.
“As producers, we want to help bring stories that have inspired us to life. Pilot Wave will create content that promotes the perspectives and experiences of unique people and produce impactful stories aimed at igniting the imagination,” Gadot explained.
By 1942, the Nazis had forced nearly half a million Jews into the Warsaw Ghetto to await deportation and death.
Wearing a nurse’s uniform, Sendler and a colleague named Irena Schultz, went into the ghetto to provide aid and medical care to Jewish families.
After soon realizing these families would soon be deported to death camps, Sendler launched an undercover mission to smuggle the Jewish children out of the camp.
She and her team managed to smuggle thousands of children out of the ghetto in coffins, suitcases, ambulances, sacks, and even through the sewage system.
After making it through the sewers, the children were placed in homes with Christian families and nun convents. Sadly, though, the Gestapo eventually discovered what Sendler was doing, and raided her home. They tortured her for information on where the children were taken.
However, Sendler was prepared to take the whereabouts of the children she rescued to her grave, and refused to give them any information. The Gestapo then sentenced her to death. She did not die at the hands of the Nazis though, as she escaped on the day of her scheduled execution.
The State of Israel recognized her as Righteous Among the Nations in 1965 and gave her honorary citizenship in 1991. Sendler also received the Gold Cross of Merit and the Order of the White Eagle, Poland’s highest honor, for her role in saving the Jews.
The brave woman lived until 2008, when she died at the ripe age of 98.