The International School for Holocaust Studies
Janusz Korczak's Children
Reviewed by Kathryn Berman
Gloria Spielman; Illustrations by Matthew Archambault
Kar-Ben Publishing, 2007
"Children are not the people of tomorrow, but are the people of today. They are entitled to be taken seriously. They have a right to be treated by adults with respect as equals. They should be allowed to grow into whoever they were meant to be – the unknown person inside each of them is the hope for the future." –Janusz Korczak
In this book, Gloria Spielman tells the moving and true story of Janusz Korczak (Henryk Goldszmidt), the Polish-Jewish champion of children's rights.
Korczak saw, from a very early age, the dichotomy between the privileged children, and those who came from disadvantaged backgrounds, and wanted to help to make a better world for children.
He became a doctor, writer, and educator, and eventually opened his own orphanage in 1912 at 92 Krochmalna Street, Warsaw.
He was so dedicated to his children that when the Nazis sent them to their deaths, he chose to go with them, teaching us those human values that still existed whilst surrounded by hatred in the Shoah years. This is considered to be the highest form of unarmed resistance.
The text and rich illustrations in this short book are suitable for children between the ages of 8-12. Teachers can use the true values Korczak left behind – caring for others and remaining a good human being in the face of evil, as an early learning tool for young children being introduced to this difficult subject.
A short chronology of important dates can be found on the last page of the book.