A Light In The Darkness
The Good Doctor Of Warsaw by Elisabeth Gifford is a powerful true story of Dr Janusz Korczak and his love and care of children in his Warsaw orphanage during World War II.
This is a harrowing read and not for the faint hearted. Elisabeth Gifford tells it as it was and life in the Warsaw ghetto under the Nazis was horrendous. I am sure that the horrors described were even more horrific in reality as we ‘see’ man’s inhumanity to man. Through it all, Dr Korczak believed that deep down even then Nazis must have a heart, sadly he was proved wrong. The Nazis were a systematic killing machine, operating with brutality and efficiency. They never saw the individual.
Dr Korczak always believed in the rights of children to be cared for, loved and safe. A decorated war hero from World War I, Dr Korczak lectured and wrote about the need for children’s rights until the Nazis stripped him of his rights as he was Jewish. It always seems so awful that you can be good enough to fight in one war but not good enough to be seen in another.
Dr Korczak could not abandon the children in his care and transferred his orphanage to inside the ghetto. Far from abandoning children, he ended up overseeing four thousand children in the ghetto. “His orphanage is … a little oasis.” Whenever Dr Korczak saw a child in trouble, he rescued them. “Korczak… represents: justice, kindness, fairness and love. He is their candle held up against the darkness, the gleam of sunshine that makes the ghetto smile.” Even when given a chance to escape the transport to Treblinka, Dr Korczak would not abandon his children. “You do not leave a child alone to face the dark.”Continue reading