“Warsaw is mine and I’m its” – a Varsavianist stroll in the footsteps of Janusz Korczak

The Warsaw Ghetto Museum would like to invite you to the third stroll in the series of our monthly, educational Varsavianist strolls. We meet on Sunday, 11 August at Jaktorowska Street.

„…I love Warsaw’s Vistula and when I’m separated from Warsaw, I terribly miss it. Warsaw is mine and I’m its. I’ll tell you more: I am it”. This is what Janusz Korczak wrote about his beloved city in 1942, in the „Diary” written in the Warsaw ghetto during the last three months of his life.

This outstanding pedagogue, advocate of respect for the rights of the child and its emancipation, doctor and writer, worked and expanded his knowledge in the Far East, in Berlin, London, Paris, Palestine, and Switzerland, but he never decided to live outside of Poland.

Janusz Korczak’s life was mainly connected with Warsaw – he was born here, he gained his school experience here, and studied medicine at the Faculty of Medicine of the Imperial University in Warsaw. He worked as a pediatrician at the Bersohn and Bauman Children’s Hospital at 60 Sienna Street – the target headquarters of the Warsaw Ghetto Museum. He wrote for Warsaw magazines – „Kolce”, „Czytelnia dla wszystkich”, „Głosy”, and his books were published here, among others: „King Matt the First”, „Bankruptcy of Little Jack”, and „Kaytek the Wizard”. At the headquarters of the Polish Radio at 25 Zielna Street he had children’s programmes – „Gadaninki”. In the years 1912–42 he was running an innovative educational programme, in the Orphan House [also called Children’s Home] for Jewish children, founded together with Stefania Wilczyńska, located at 92 Krochmalna Street (today Jaktorowska St.), which was moved to the ghetto to 33 Chłodna St., and finally 16 Sienna St. It was from there that he went with the children – during the Grossaktion – on August 5 to the Umschlagplatz, from where he was taken to the Treblinka extermination camp along with the others.

During the stroll, we will visit the places associated with the Warsaw fate of Janusz Korczak.

Jagna Kofta, an employee of the Education Department of the Warsaw Ghetto Museum and Warsaw guide, will share her knowledge on the outstanding pedagogue with us.

The meeting place for the participants of the stroll is the former building of the Orphan House [also called Children’s Home], and nowadays the Museum of Warsaw’s Workshop – Korczakianum, at 6 Jaktorowska Street – 11 August at 12.00 noon.

Anna Kilian