|Light in the darkness : Janusz Korczak, his orphans, and the Holocaust|
Author: Marrin, Albert
A Polish Jew on the eve of World War II, Janusz Korczak turned down opportunities for escape in order to stand by the children in his orphanage as they became confined to the Warsaw Ghetto. Dressing them in their Sabbath finest, he led their march to the trains and ultimately perished with his children in Treblinka.
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 09/01/2019 *Starred Review* Janusz Korczak, a Polish Jewish physician and an author of books on children’s rights, also served as an orphanage director in Warsaw before and during the Holocaust. The “Old Doctor” refused all rescue offers for himself, accompanying his charges into the Treblinka extermination camp, where he met his death. Marrin’s tribute to the humanitarian is not a traditional biography, however; instead, the National Book Award finalist juxtaposes Korczak, who believed hope comes from bettering the lives of children, with Adolf Hitler, who saw children as raw material to be molded into his racial ideology. Through meticulous research and impeccable storytelling, the result is an astonishing account of the Holocaust that alternates between the worst and best of humankind. The author adds context through background information on how Hitler’s ideology later played out in WWII, including anti-Semitism and mass killings of Jews in Poland. Amid the horrific details of these deaths shine rays of light from the resistance movement and individuals who risked their own lives to save those of persecuted Jews. Rarely seen photographs help document both sides. The conflicting views of children continue to the end as Marrin both honors Korczak’s legacy and reveals how children are still used by terrorists today. Although intended for YA readers, this eye-opening history also belongs in all adult collections. Painful yet profound. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.