Film and Lecture series continues with highlighting Irena Sendler

Noah Dalton

The second event in the Vincennes University College of  Humanities Film and Lecture series took place honoring Irena Sendler. Sendler was a Polish nurse during World War II who helped many Jewish people escape Nazi persecution.

The film portion of the event took place on Tuesday, March 13, when the documentary “Irena Sendler: In the name of their mothers” was shown. The lecture took place on the following Thursday and featured guest speaker Dr. Walter Rinderle, who is a Vincennes native and has written numerous books on the subject of World War II and Nazi Germany.

During the lecture, Rinderle spoke very highly of Sendler’s story. He said, “It’s a marvelous story of courage and how young people saw a need and jumped in to help. Some even making the ultimate sacrifice, death.”

Rinderle referred back to that point of helping those in need many times throughout his lecture, later saying, “If we see someone in need we follow Irena Sendler and jump in to help.”

He also used Sendler as an example of an everyday hero, or an average person stepping up to become a hero in a time of need, and urged those in attendance to take notice of similar people in their lives.

“We need to remember that there are so, so many heroes in our lives. So many people who encourage us,” he said.

David Cockerham, a professor at VU and one of the lead organizers of the Film and Lecture series, hopes that events such as these will spark a greater interest in humanities for students because he believes that humanities “are important to democracy.”

He elaborated on this by saying “one of the functions of humanities is to get students to think critically.”

Cockerham feels that if students begin to think critically about important social and political issues, then they will be able to have more informed opinions and meaningful discussion about those topics.

The next event in the series will feature Ira Wagler, former VU graduate and New York Times best selling author. Wagler will appear on April 2 and 3 for lectures on writing, his best selling book “Growing Up Amish,” and his experience as an Amish person at VU. Also on April 2, there will be a showing of “Devil’s Playground” in the Jefferson Student Union.

For more information, including specific times for each event refer to the Film and Lecture series website at