Janusz Korczak

Janusz Korczak (Hebrew: יאנוש קורצ’אק) , also known as Henryk Goldszmit , was a Polish-Jewish educator and children’s author.

In 1912, Korczak established a Jewish orphanage, in a building which he designed to advance his progressive educational theories. He envisioned a world in which children structured their own world and became experts in their own matters. Jewish children between the ages of seven and fourteen were allowed to live there while attending Polish public school and government-sponsored Jewish schools, known as “Sabbath” schools.

Korczak was also a doctor and author, worked at a Polish radio station, was a principal of an experimental school, published a children’s newspaper and was a docent at a Polish university. He became well-known in Polish society and received many awards. The rise of anti-Semitism in the 1930’s restricted only his activities with Jews.

Korczak visited Palestine twice : in 1934 and 1936. While he was there, he was influenced by the kibbutz movement. And was convinced that all Jews should move to Palestine.

In November 1940, the orphanage was moved inside the Warsaw ghetto. Korczak received many offers to be smuggled out of the ghetto, but he refused because he wanted to stay with the children.


On August 5, 1942, Korczak joined nearly 200 children and orphanage staff members that were rounded up for deportation to Treblinka, where they were all put to death .


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