Janusz Korczak

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by teachmsa
Last updated 7 years ago

Social Studies
World War II

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Janusz Korczak

Janusz Korczak

In any place, anytime, love does not change because of life is happening around them. A Jewish man, writing by the name of Janusz Korczak, educated young children and even adults in his writings of dramas and essays but he was mainly known for his children books. During the start of World War II and throughout the Great Depression, Korczak did anything he could for the safety of the sick and starving children of his poor town in Warsaw Poland, the center of Jewish life. To care for those children, he organized a Jewish orphanage called “Help for the Orphans” and the building was named “Dom Sierot” which means “house of the orphans.” Something so small in his huge world of corruption gave acknowledgment to him; he is remembered in these selfless events. Henryk Goldmit was Janusz Korczak real name but when he dropped his career in literature and medicine, he decided to write his stories by the name of which he is known by. One of his famous children books started off with, “Once upon a time there was an old good king who died and his little son inherited the throne. Since the boy's mother was also dead, little Hänschen had no one who loved him. ..."(Wolfgang Hergeth,” Janusz Korczak’s Biography”).This tale is of an orphan boy who encounters the horrid war and the aftermath of the war. He showed his love to children when he organized an orphanage. He designed his orphanage, which still stands today, for those who needed shelter, supplies, and love. The orphanage also educated the children who were staying there and offered so much to save them.“The lives of great men are like legend-difficult but beautiful” (Janusz Korczak,” Communication Center”). He was inspired by the children, and he devoted his life to save and accompany the orphans and make sure they were loved and cared for. In addition to the changes that happened because of the war, Korczak put a risk on himself to keep the children safe. On September 1, 1939 Nazi Germany invaded Poland which Korczak wanted to get involved in by putting on a Polish military uniform, but due to his age, he was forbidden to fight. Since Warsaw was now owned by German they were set out to occupy 200 children into “resettlement in the East” which really was the death camp Treblinka. Janusz had a clue what was going on, so he continued to travel with them. He felt that with each child, there was a spark that could destroy darkness at the core of human nature. Korczak went with the children into the ghetto. They offered him refuge, but he chose to spend his last two years protecting them so he knew that he could not leave now, no matter what. When an officer recognized him from his children’s books, he offered him to leave but he refused and died with the children. Located in the square is the statue "Janusz Korczak and the Children." It has twelve children which represent the twelve tribes of Israel. Through the crumbling democracy of Poland, strength and courage was found in few, but the gratitude is found in the longevity of Janusz Korczak. “You do not leave a sock child in the night, and you do not leave children at a time like this,” (Janusz Korczak Communication Center) his words spark many and for he gives people the insights into the children’s minds. During a time of killing, the strength comes from the little things that happen and the story lasts forever.

Click here on the writing to the left to watch a video and learn more!

Janusz Korczak with children from his orphanage

By:Julia Blahut

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"Today I watered the flowers, the poor plants of the orphanage, a Jewish orphanage. The parched earth breathed in the water. A sentry looked at me as I worked. Did he envy me in my peaceful task at this early morning hour, or was he moved by it perhaps? With his legs apart he stands there and watches. I water the flowers. My reflection on the window pane, a good sign. He has a rifle. Why does he stand there and watch me so peacefully? He gives no command. Perhaps he once led a normal life as a village school teacher, perhaps a lawyer, or a street sweeper in Leipzig or a waiter in Cologne. What will he do if I nod to him? Wave in a friendly fashion? Perhaps he has no idea that things are as they are. Perhaps he just arrived yesterday from somewhere else ..." Written in Janusz Korczak's diary

"You do not leave a sick child in the night, and you do not leave children at a time like this." - Janusz Korczak

Janusz Korczak and a Jewish child that he brought into saftey.

Janusz Korczak


Click here to look at one of Janusz Korczak's books and read through the comments and other interest of books

This is a photo of what the ophanage that Janusz Korczak made looks like today. It currently is used as a children's house and is still in honor of what he had done.


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