Dr. Korczak, the Children’s Hero of WWII

Mark Bernheim (Miami University Professor Emeritus and teacher of the Fashion Journalism class at ISI Florence) recently completed a chapter for a book to be published by Seattle Pacific University following a major conference held there in August 2018. The conference brought together many international scholars who have studied the life and career of the esteemed pediatrician and hero of the Warsaw Ghetto in World War II, Dr. Janusz Korczak.
In 1989 Professor Bernheim published the groundbreaking biography “Father of the Orphans: the Life of Janusz Korczak” with Penguin Books. Korczak achieved fame for protecting the lives of hundreds of Jewish children in the Warsaw Ghetto from the Nazi occupiers of the city, who eventually sent all the children, and him as well, to their deaths at the gas chambers of Treblinka (outside Warsaw) in the summer of 1942. Korczak not only was a famous pediatrician, but also a teacher and advocate for children’s rights.
Over the years, Professor Bernheim has attended many conferences on Korczak and given speeches about him. In 2017 the Polish Foreign Ministry invited him to Poland to resume his research on Korczak. Some of the materials he gathered on that occasion will appear in his forthcoming essay for the volume sponsored by Seattle Pacific University. In that paper Professor Bernheim will not only discuss Korczak’s life and work but also his own familiarity with many Holocaust survivors as well as contacts with related associations in Switzerland, France, Austria, and the Netherlands. It is thus a shared hope that this collection of essays will make Korczak and the events linked with this remarkable figure better known to a wide readership.