InfoPoland (12994 bytes)

Janusz Korczak

Author, Educator and Hero

Janusz Korczak was the pen name by which Dr. Henrik Goldschmid (1878-1942), a Polish-Jewish physican was universally known. The author of enormously popular children's books (including King Matt, the First, the characters of which were pictured on Polish stamps) and a beloved radio personality, he was an educator who run two orphanages the philosophy of which was guided principals enunciated in the Declaration of Children's Rights he authored. He devoted his life to children. During the German occupation of Poland, he and the Jewish children of one of his orphanages were made to move to the Warsaw Ghetto which the Germans created in Warsaw. One of the most complex and tragic figures of the Holocaust, he continued to ran his home for Jewish orphans in the Ghetto, until he and his charges were transported to Treblinka in 1942. Korczak aroused controversy because of his policy of non-violent resistance and his martyrdom. Though efforts were made to save his life by having him secretly leave the Ghetto, he refused, feeling unable to let the children in his orphanage be taken to Treblinka without him to comfort them. Thus he and his children were transported to the death camp on August 5, 1943. His heroism was immortalized in Andrzej Wajda's 1990 film "Korczak."

Characters from his book
King Matt, the First
Monument in Warsaw's
Jewish Cemetary
Monument at Yad Vashem
click on visual to enlarge, close it before clicking on another


Info-Poland a clearinghouse of information about Poland, Polish Universities, Polish Studies, etc.
© 2000 Polish Academic Information Center, University at Buffalo. All rights reserved.
Info-Poland   |    art and culture   |    history   |    universities   |    studies   |    scholars   |    classroom   |    book chapters   |    sitemaps   |    users' comments