Korczak, a Jewish educator, physician and writer, was a famous figure in Europe, with a well-balanced radio program and a well-known children's book author. At the orphanage he founded in Warsaw in 1912, he employed pioneering educational methods and examined and advanced educational ideas.
In the courtyard of the orphanage stands a monument to Korczak. It commemorates his death in the gas chambers, together with his students, but also the educational life of the "old doctor," as they called him in better times.
The orphanage operated here until the establishment of the Jewish Ghetto. With the issuance of the Nazi order, which required all Jews to move into the Jewish Ghetto, the entire orphanage moved to 33 Chlodna Street, where it worked for some time before moving to its last residence on Sliska Street.
From the orphanage in the Ghetto, the children were taken in early August 1942 together with their teachers to the Umschlagplatz. Korczak himself, a famous man of international standing, refused the Nazi proposal to be released from death and went with his students to Treblinka extermination camp. There, they were all murdered in the gas chambers.
In the last place of the orphanage, on Sliska Street, nothing can be seen. In its place, there is today a green park, which was created after the war. In fact, the park was built on the ruins of the building and adjacent buildings, all destroyed when the Nazis liquidated the entire Jewish Ghetto.
And not only his courage and love for his students and the children of his orphanage stand in the merit of this great educator. Korczak was one of the first educators in the world to introduce democratic education. His orphanage gave the children a sort of self-administered automaton. The orphanage included a parliament, a legislative committee, a weekly newspaper and even a rabbinic court, headed by child judges, who changed every week. Every Saturday, the children's courts met to discuss complaints that were filed that week against children and adults alike, teachers and other workers. The children had the right to prosecute even Korczak himself, who was very often tried ...
In the orphanage he led, each child received an older mentor. Thus the young children drew a personal example and constant instruction, while the older ones assumed responsibility and became young and thoughtful teachers. This method is currently implemented in educational institutions throughout the world. Korczak conceived it.