The King of Children: The Life and Death of Janusz Korczak

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9781581101843: The King of Children: The Life and Death of Janusz Korczak

The life of a moral exemplar comes alive in this acclaimed biography of the first known advocate of children's rights in Poland—the man known as a savior of hundreds of orphans in the Warsaw ghetto. A pediatrician, educator, and Polish Jew, Janusz Korczak introduced progressive orphanages serving both Jewish and Catholic children in Warsaw. Determined to shield children from the injustices of the adult world, he built orphanages into "just communities" complete with parliaments and courts. Korczak also founded the first national children's newspaper, testified on behalf of children in juvenile courts, and—through his works How to Love a Child and How to Respect a Child—provided teachers and parents with a moral education. Known throughout Europe as a Pied Piper of destitute children prior to the onslaught of World War II, he assumed legendary status when on August 6, 1942, after refusing offers for his own safety, he defiantly led the orphans under his care in the Warsaw Ghetto to the trains that would take them to Treblinka.

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Review:

The tragic story of Janusz Korczak, who chose to perish in Treblinka rather than abandon the Jewish orphans in his care, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year in 1988. The new paperback edition includes a passionate introduction by Elie Wiesel that sets the tone for the inspiring saga of a man who introduced progressive orphanages in his native Poland, defended children's rights in court, and wrote classic works of children's literature and child psychology. Korczak lives as a moral exemplar in this fine biography.

About the Author:

Betty Jean Lifton is the author of A Place Called Hiroshima, Lost and Found: The Adoption Experience, and Twice Born: Memoirs of an Adopted Daughter. She lives in New York City.

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