What was the name of Janusz Korczak at birth?
Janusz Korczak was the pen name of Henryk Goldszmit born on July 22, 1878, in Warsaw, Poland. He was a physician, writer and educator. In the time period from 1898 to 1904, Korczak studied medicine at the University of Warsaw.
He served as a military doctor in the Russian-Japanese War in 1906. In 1911–1912 he became a director of "Dom Sierot" in Warsaw, an orphanage of his own design for Jewish children. It was an orphanage based on human rights values. Children were respected and loved there. Korczak said, “Children are not the people of tomorrow, but are people of today. They have a right to be taken seriously, and to be treated with tenderness and respect. They should be allowed to grow into whoever they were meant to be. 'The unknown person' inside of them is our hope for the future.”
In October 1939 Warsaw was occupied by Nazi Germany. In 1940 the Germans created the Warsaw Ghetto, and the Jewish orphanage was forced to move to the Ghetto. Korczak could have stayed out of the Ghetto but he moved in together with the children. They all were sent to the Treblinka concentration camp and murdered in the gas chamber there.
Korczak's best-known writing is his fiction and pedagogy, and his most popular works have been widely translated.