King of Children: The Life and Death of Janusz Korczak

King of Children: The Life and Death of Janusz Korczak


$29.95 View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Wednesday, October 16


This is the tragic story of Janusz Korczak (as featured in the major motion picture The Zookeeper's Wife) who chose to perish in Treblinka rather than abandon the Jewish orphans in his care. Korczak comes alive in this acclaimed biography by Betty Jean Lifton as the first known advocate of children's rights in Poland, and the man known as a savior of hundreds of orphans in the Warsaw ghetto. A pediatrician, educator, and Polish Jew, Janusz Korczak introduced progressive orphanages, serving both Jewish and Catholic children, in Warsaw. Determined to shield children from the injustices of the adult world, he built orphanages into 'just communities' complete with parliaments and courts. Korczak also founded the first national children's newspaper, testified on behalf of children in juvenile courts, and, through his writings, provided teachers and parents with a moral education. Known throughout Europe as a Pied Piper of destitute children prior to the onslaught of World War II, he assumed legendary status when on August 6, 1942, after refusing offers for his own safety, he defiantly led the orphans under his care in the Warsaw Ghetto to the trains that would take them to Treblinka. Introductions by Elie Wiesel, Curren Warf and Allison A. Eddy

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781910383582
Publisher: Vallentine Mitchell
Publication date: 10/11/2017
Pages: 406
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Betty Jean Lifton is the author of Twice Born: Memoirs of an Adopted Daughter and A Place Called Hiroshima. She lives in New York City.

Table of Contents

Preface to the 2018 Edition vii

Preface Stephen Berman, MD, FAAP ix

Introduction to the 2018 Edition xii

Introduction Elie Wiesel xv

Who Was Janusz Korczak? 3

Part 1 1878-1918

1 Child of the Drawing Room 13

2 Heritage 20

3 Confessions of a Butterfly 25

4 Which Way? 31

5 Muzzle on the Soul 37

6 Little Hospital 41

7 Summer Camps 46

8 The Decision 55

9 The Children's Republic 63

10 How to Love a Child 73

11 The Sad Madame 84

Part 2 1919-1930

12 Independence 93

13 The Spirit of King Matt 102

14 One Hundred Children 108

15 Taming the Beast 119

16 Striving for justice 128

17 Long Live the Herring! 139

18 Madame Stefa 149

19 Not Every Truth Can Be Blown on a Trumpet 155

20 The Happiest Period 164

Part 3 1930-1939

21 Crossroads 177

22 Palestine 188

23 The Old Doctor 199

24 The Hard Truth of Moses 209

25 Loneliness 217

26 The Religion of the Child 227

Part 4 1939-1942

27 September 1939 237

28 Arrest 249

29 The Ghetto 257

30 All Are Equal 267

31 Our Children Must Live 274

32 The Last Seder 282

33 The Ghetto Diary: May 1942 287

34 Strange Happenings 297

35 The Post Office 302

36 Yesterday's Rainbow 311

37 The Last March: August 6, 1942 323

Epilogue: Treblinka and After 330

Appendix; Janusz Korczak's Declaration of Children's Rights 336

Notes 338

Acknowledgments 361

Index 365

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

The King of Children: The Life and Death of Janusz Korczak 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
meggyweg on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I found this biography very well-written, detailed and moving. Janusz Korczak is barely known in the West today, and those who have heard of him usually only know of the manner of his death: he followed the children in his orphanage to Treblinka rather than abandon them and save his own life. But there is a lot more to Korczak than the way he died, as this book shows. You really get a sense of the "whole man," and the times in which he lived. He was a brilliant doctor, pedagogue, children's writer and humanitarian, and he was also very eccentric, prickly with most adults, and had a highly developed sense of humor. The world needs more people like Korczak, and more biographies like this one.