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President Katsav, Heads of French Jewish Organizations at Yad Vashem for Dedication Ceremony of Janusz Korczak Square

6 November 2002

On Monday, November 11, 2002 at 16:00 an inaugural ceremony will be held for the Janusz Korczak Square at Yad Vashem in the presence of President Moshe Katsav, President of Israel, Maxi Librati, the square’s donor, and Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Directorate of Yad Vashem. Also participating in the ceremony will be hundreds of members of the United Israel Appeal, the Council Representing the French Jewish Community (CRIF) and the Unified Jewish Social Fund (FSJU). There will be a performance by Gogol, the harmonica ensemble from Ramat Gan.

Maxi Librati, a French Holocaust survivor, businessman and good friend of Yad Vashem, is dedicated to passing on the legacy of the Holocaust to the young generation. In addition to Janusz Korczak Square, Librati has also donated the Garden for Children Without a Childhood at Yad Vashem and is active in sponsoring many events at Yad Vashem and in France.

Born circa 1878, Janusz Korczak who was Director of a Jewish orphanage in Warsaw, Poland, dedicated his life to caring for children. Following the Jewish ghettoization in Warsaw, Korczak’s commitment to the orphans persisted; he declined offers from Polish friends to hide him in the “Aryan” side of the city, refusing to abandon the children. On 5 August 1942, during a two-month wave of deportations from the ghetto, the Nazis seized Korczak and his children and they were sent to Treblinka, where they perished.