Article by Council of Europe • Published 2009
Janusz Korczak is said to have once described himself as “a doctor by training, a pedagogue by chance, a writer by passion, and a psychologist by necessity”. He was well known at the time in his native Poland in all these capacities, but what made him a legend was his desperate struggle to shield the Jewish orphans from the atrocities in the Warsaw Ghetto. The publication presents an English translation of one of Korczak’s more well-known texts, The Child’s Right to Respect, in which he summarised his thinking on the relationship between children and adults. It is introduced by Sven Hartman, Professor of Pedagogy at the Stockholm University and followed by a moving testimony of Irena Sendlerova who herself tried to save children from the Nazi brutalities in the Ghetto and who saw Korczak, his colleagues and all the children from “My home” being marched to their death.