Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Janusz Korczak on Parenting: Inspiring!

I heard this on NPR (listen here) and was touched by this brave and loving man's story.
Janusz Korczak was a Jew born in 1878 in Warsaw. He went on to become a physician and one of Poland's most famous writers — not only of parenting guides, but of children's books, too.

A new book, Loving Every Child, compiles Korczak's writings, some of which were originally published in the 1920s.

Korczak was also the director of two orphanages. After the Nazis took control of Poland in September 1939, he received offers of refuge but refused to leave his young charges, who were forced into a Jewish ghetto. And when those 200 or so children were rounded up for deportation to the Treblinka concentration camp, Korczak famously accompanied them in a dignified march to the train station. Most of them, including Korczak, perished in Treblinka.

Sad, and beautiful story. I love, though, the descriptions of his orphanages... He asked the children what they would like in a home, and proceeded to create just that. He recommends acceptance and love for children as they are, rather than so much concern for who they will someday be. Advice that was well before its time.

More on Janusz Korczak.

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