Champion Of The Child – JANUSZ KORCZAK
17 OCTOBER 2007 – 10 FEBRUARY 2008
‘Janusz Korczak is a symbol of true religion and true morality’
Pope John Paul II
Champion of the Child is a moving account in words and pictures of the life and work of Polish-Jewish doctor, writer and educator Janusz Korczak. One of the world’s first champions of children’s rights, Korczak (born Henryk Goldszmit) devoted his life to the needs and plight of children, irrespective of their backgrounds or beliefs.
This exhibition reveals how Korczak (1879-1942) came to represent the rights of street children and orphans in Warsaw in the early 20th century, introducing the first progressive orphanages for Jewish and Catholic children. He pioneered child-centred education, founded the first children’s newspaper and testified on behalf of children in juvenile courts.
The exhibition closes with the poignant story of a commitment to his orphaned charges so strong that, despite offers of rescue, he was to choose death in Treblinka extermination camp with the children rather than abandon them.
Korczak’s revolutionary ideas on education continue to be universally relevant today.
The exhibition features the paintings and drawings of Yitzhak Belfer, an Israeli artist who was born in Poland in 1923 and raised in Korczak’s Jewish orphanage in Warsaw.