Member of the Mahanot Haolim youth movement fly kites in the Square of Hope at Yad Vashem in memory of Janusz Korczak, Stefa Wilczynska and the children murdered at Treblinka
Yitzhak Skalka, one of Korczak's former students, flies a kite with a member of the Mahanot Haolim youth movement
09 August 2015
"Just as the sea gives a child a toy - a boat, so the wind has to give him a kite."
Janusz Korczak, The Religion of the Child
On Sunday, August 9, 2015 Yad Vashem marked 73 years since the deportation to Treblinka of Janusz Korczak, Stefa Wilczynska, and the children of their orphanage, from the Warsaw ghetto. The memorial ceremony was held at Janusz Korczak Square at Yad Vashem, with the participation of Ms. Magdalena Pieֵ„kos, representative the Polish Embassy to Israel; Holocaust survivors from Korczak's orphanage in Warsaw; dozens of members of the Mahanot Haolim youth movement; and members of the Janusz Korczak Association in Israel. Addressing the audience were Chairwoman of the International Janusz Korczak Association Batia Gilad, Director of Yad Vashem's Guiding Department, Commemoration and Public Relations Department Na'ama Galil, and Ido Formansky of Mahanot Haolim.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Mahanot Haolim youth group members flew dozens of kites to convey an educational message of respect, love and equal rights.
Janusz Korczak was the pen name of Henryk Goldszmit, a renowned Polish-born doctor, author and educator. Born in Warsaw, Korczak dedicated his life to caring for children, particularly orphans. He believed that children should always be listened to and respected, and this belief was reflected in his work. In 1912, Korczak became the director of a Jewish orphanage in Warsaw alongside Stefa Wilczynska. When World War II broke out in 1939, Korczak and Wilczynska refused to abandon the children, despite offers from Polish friends to hide them on the "Aryan" side of the city. On August 5, 1942, during a two-month wave of deportations from the ghetto, the Nazis rounded up Korczak, Wilczynska and the 200 children along with the orphanage staff. Janusz and Stefa never abandoned the children, even to the very end. Korczak, Wilczynska and the children were sent to Treblinka, where they were all murdered.