Ghetto Diary

Janusz Korczak; With an introduction by Betty Jean Lifton

View Inside Price: $19.00


May 11, 2003
160 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4
ISBN: 9780300097429
Paper

Janusz Korczak (1879–1942) is one of the legendary figures to emerge from the Holocaust. A successful pediatrician and well-known author in his native Warsaw, he gave up a brilliant medical career to devote himself to the care of orphans. Like so many other Jews, Korczak was sent into the Warsaw Ghetto after the Nazi occupation of Poland. He immediately set up an orphanage for more than two hundred children. Many of his admirers, Jewish and gentile, offered to rescue him from the ghetto, but Korczak refused to leave his small charges. When the Nazis ordered the children to board a train that was to carry them to the Treblinka death camp, Korczak went with them, despite the Nazis’ offer of special treatment. His selfless behavior in caring for these children’s lives and deaths has made him beloved throughout the world; he has been honored by UNESCO and commemorated on postage stamps in both Poland and Israel.

Korczak’s grimly inspiring ghetto diary is now available in paperback for the first time, accompanied by a new introduction by Betty Jean Lifton, the author of the biography of Korczak.

Some of Janusz Korczak’s writings on children are still available: A Voice for the Child, and When I Am Little Again and “The Child’s Right to Respect.” Betty Jean Lifton’s biography of Korczak, The King of Children: The Life and Death of Janusz Korczak, was a recent New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

“Korczak’s diary reveals how a spiritual and moral man struggles to shield innocent children from the atrocities of the adult world in one of history’s darkest times.”—Betty Jean Lifton, from the introduction




“Korczak’s diary is a moving piece of literature and an indispensable insight into life inside the ghetto. The quality of his testimony, contemporaneous with the events he lived, is powerful, poignant, and moving.”—Michael Berenbaum

“A tribute to the enduring influence of this legendary figure of the Holocaust. . . . Particularly powerful for its simple eloquence, its empathetic voice and its advocacy for the children of the Warsaw Ghetto.”—Michael N. Dobkowski, Jewish Book World