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Janusz Korczak
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Hero
    (July 22, 1877-circa August 1942)
    Born in Warsaw, Poland
    Birth name Henryk Goldszmit
    Pediatrician, children’s author and pedagogue
    Founded the renowned ‘Dom Sierot’ orphanage in Warsaw (1912)
    Wrote children’s books ‘King Matthew the First’ (1923) and ‘Kajtus the Wizard’ (1935)
    Wrote pedagogical works ‘How to Love a Child’ (1919) and ‘The Child’s Right to Respect’ (1929)
    Subject of the film ‘Korczak,’ directed by Andrzej Wajda (1990)
    He changed his name to that of a character from a Polish children’s story.
    He advocated a very child-centered approach to parenting and education.
    Although gentle with children, he was rather gruff with adults.
    His kids’ books criticize racism but include black stereotypes.
    He visited several kibbutzim in Palestine during the 1930s.
    The children at his orphanage ran their own court and could punish adult caretakers.
    He urged adults to treat all children with respect and compassion.
    He supported his family while still a teenager after his father died.
    Anti-Semitic protests shut down his popular radio show.
    His orphanage was progressive for its time and saved many children from the streets.
    During the Nazi occupation he refused all opportunities to save himself and stayed at the orphanage.
    He eventually accompanied 196 orphans and 12 staff workers to the Treblinka concentration camp.
    All were murdered shortly after arrival.

Credit: Georgina


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