Get the opportunity to grow your influence by giving your products or services prime exposure with Performance Magazine.

If you are interested in advertising with Performance Magazine, leave your address below.

Advertise with us

Korczak, Janusz (1878–1942)


An article by Tadeusz Lewowicki1

Janusz Korczak (whose real name was Henryk Goldszmit) is one of the greatest and most impressive figures in contemporary pedagogy. His was a multi-faceted personality, with broad interests and extensive knowledge, a great empathy with children and a genuine concern for all social problems. A doctor by education and an educator by predilection, his passion for improving the reality he observed drove him to writing and journalism.

His life, his community activities, educational work and creative output cannot be squeezed into any standard mould, or even presented in a complete manner. For Janusz Korczak was the kind of individual who exerted a strong influence on his surroundings, changed social practice, destroyed the petrified scientific dogma, and laid the foundations of new theories. At the same time he was involved in wide-ranging practical activities, in the fields of medicine, education and journalism. He condemned all manifestations of evil, and derided stupidity, while himself setting an example of how the world can be made better and more beautiful. He fought for this better and more beautiful world especially for children. He set the highest value in his life on the happiness of children, and their smiling, unhampered development. In fact, he devoted his entire life to trying to bring happiness to more and more children.

His evolving personality

Janusz Korczak was born in Warsaw in 1878. His father, Józef Goldszmit, was a respected lawyer with broad scholarly interests and ambitions. The Goldszmit family had a living tradition of community activity. Janusz Korczak’s grandfather, Hirsz Goldszmit, was very much involved in progressive Polish Jewish circles, belonging to ‘Haskale’ (which represented the Enlightenment movement in the Jewish milieu), and also practiced medicine.2 His father’s brother, Jakub, was a lawyer, also involved in journalism.

His family atmosphere no doubt had an enormous influence on Janusz Korczak’s development, and especially on his awareness of social problems. He was himself quite conscious of the fact that he owed a great deal to his family and immediate circle.3 A. Lewin writes: ‘His struggle against evil, injustice and ignorance was a continuation of the actions of preceding generations. There is good reason to believe that he attached great importance to genealogy. In his writings he often expressed the conviction that outstanding individuals, the “good spirits of mankind”, appear as the result of many generations of development.’4

Janusz Korczak’s personality was greatly influenced by his studies at the Praskie Gimnazjum (the school’s name deriving from the name of the Praga district in Warsaw), now well known in Poland as the Wladyslaw IV Liceum. He was particularly impressed by his teacher of Greek.

Young Janusz Korczak displayed great interest in nature, and quickly developed a passion for reading, being deeply moved by the poetry of A. Mickiewicz and the novels of J.I. Kraszewski.


By 1891, that is, as a 13-year-old boy, he was keeping a diary. As the years passed, various forms of writing became a strong need and an ingrained habit.

He wrote his first literary works while still at school, for example ‘Samòbojstwo’ (Suicide) in 1895, and a series of humorous sketches in 1896. The manuscript of the 1895 work, whose main character was a man overcome by madness, was lost and never published. His first publication was the humorous ‘Wezel gordyjski’ (Gordian Knot), which appeared in an 1896 issue of Kolce (Barbs). This was also the first time the author used the cryptonym ‘Hen’ from the first syllable of his first name ‘Henryk’. He published more works even before going on to post-secondary studies.

In 1898, as a Grade 8 pupil, he took part in the I. Paderewski literary competition. His entry was a four-act play entitled Ktòredy?  (Which way?). This was the first time used the pseudonym Janusz Korczak, by which he is known to this day.

His social programme

His sensitivity to social issues, acquired in the family home, made it impossible for Janusz Korczak not to react to all manifestations of evil, unfairness and injustice. He was aware of these phenomena both on a social and an individual level. He protested against numerous cases of coercion, whether material or spiritual. He also spoke out against poverty, unemployment, exploitation and social inequality. He did so as ‘a man following a lonely path of individual decisions and deeds’,5 for he did not belong officially to any political organization, but devoted all his energy to social activity, fighting for the dignity of human beings and their right to a full life, both in writing and in speech.

Janusz Korczak was closely bound to his country, occupied as it was by invaders for so many years. Since he was deeply concerned about the fate of Poland and the Poles, he was close to those social groups that desired and actively worked towards independence. Thus he maintained relations with progressive social groups, with a number of progressive (sometimes radical) periodical editors, with teachers, writers, journalists, doctors and students. As a social activist and practising physician, he often had contact with the poorest classes of society.

Janusz Korczak’s social programme became crystallized during his medical studies, which he started in 1898 at Warsaw University’s Department of Medicine. Although spread over many works and implemented in many forms, this programme was exceptionally clear and consistent. Its main aspects were improvement of living conditions, employment opportunities for all, higher sanitary standards—especially among the poorest social classes, providing children with appropriate conditions for their physical and mental development, family life as a value, education for all, equal rights for women, and many other important social issues in Polish society of the time.

The range of Janusz Korczak’s social interests and sociological observations was astonishingly broad. He had things to say on issues related to his own profession, namely medicine, but he also devoted a lot of attention to topics somewhat removed from, albeit not irrelevant to medicine or education. For instance, he wrote on economics and on labour relations, and did not shy away from subjects in the domains of culture, natural sciences and ethics. He combated evil customs by criticizing and ridiculing them, but he also forced people to reflect more profoundly by appealing to their consciences, especially when his goal was to improve the living conditions of the poor, to bring social practice around to the principles of justice, and to win recognition for the universal right to live in dignity.

Just as his excellent sense of observation helped him to detect and condemn many unfavourable social phenomena, so his medical knowledge made it possible for him to suggest professionally grounded solutions in the area of health education. Hence, he took up the issues of health care for children, the role of an educational atmosphere at home and the effect of it on child development, as well as the physical and psychological development of children and adolescents.

All were important parts of Janusz Korczak’s programme of social activity, which was truly a social medicine programme, actively implemented in Korczak’s medical and educational practice.


The most important aspects of his activity were those related to children. His pedagogical efforts, which started in his early adult years, also had their genesis in social problems. The needs of poor children and the difficult circumstances of orphans became central motifs in the educational work to which Janusz Korczak devoted many years of his life. But this work and his medical practice deserve separate presentation.

His medical career

As mentioned above, Janusz Korczak began studying medicine in 1898, but did not limit himself, while a student, to the profound study of medical science. He was involved in journalism, was active in the Warsaw Hygiene Society, wrote substantial literary works; he worked in a hospital, and also worked as a teacher and educator. Among other things, he was a doctor and tutor at summer camps for children. He also travelled: in 1899 he visited Switzerland, where he was interested in health service subjects, but where he also studied diligently the educational ideas of Pestalozzi.

He obtained his medical diploma in March 1905, when he was mobilized and had to go to the Russo-Japanese front. He was sent to Harbin and Tao’an Xian to work in evacuation centres, and then spent some time in Khabarovsk. He witnessed directly the horrors of war, he treated others and fell ill himself. After several months he returned from the front.

While in the Far East he kept up a journalistic correspondence from the front. The awfulness of war did not keep him from writing; he continued to send in articles on the war, some on sociological or educational subjects. His journalistic output did not flag after his return to Warsaw. He published articles in medical journals, such as the professional Krytyka Lekarska, as well as in other periodicals and in book form. He also wrote about the state of public health, problems encountered by physicians, and the work of midwives6 and gave lectures to medical audiences.

To further his professional knowledge, he travelled to Berlin in 1907, and to Paris in 1909, to study. At this time he also published articles on the care of new-born babies, for example: ‘Waga dla niemowlat w praktyce prywatnej’ (Scales for infants in private practice), ‘O znaczeniu karmienia piersia niemowlat’ (On the importance of breast-feeding), ‘Niedziela lekarza’ (The doctor’s Sunday), ‘Kropla mleka, czy niedziela lekarza?’ (A drop of milk, or the doctor’s Sunday).7

Unlike his other publications, his medical writings are usually signed with his real name—

Henryk Goldszmit. Most of these articles appeared in the first and second decades of the century.

During the First World War he was once again forced to practice medicine under extreme circumstances. He found himself a ward head of a field hospital on the Ukrainian front, where the fate of children with war injuries made a particularly strong impression on him. In 1917 he came upon shelters for homeless children in Kiev.

Janusz Korczak’s professional activity as a physician became less intensive with time. He devoted more and more time and attention to education, in both theoretical and practical terms. Of course he remained a doctor in his pedagogical work, but he did not maintain a regular practice, for it seemed to him that this was not the most effective way of improving the world. While medicine can prevent and cure illnesses, it cannot turn people into better individuals. Therefore he chose to work as a teacher and educator, which would give him greater opportunities for influencing individual characters, and consequently for bettering the social environment.8

His pedagogical programme

As was the case with many contemporary teachers and educators, Janusz Korczak’s views were formed under the influence of turn-of-the-century educational thought. The theories of Dewey, Decroly and Montessori were being paid much attention. The so-called pedagogical progressivism or New Education movement was in full bloom. Schools were also being affected by the ideas of many other European and American educators. The development of educational thought in Poland was being influenced by new psychological works, and Polish education and psychology were themselves developing rapidly.

Janusz Korczak studied psychological and educational literature from his early youth. He was very interested in the history of educational thought, he was familiar with the works of Pestalozzi and Spencer, and was attracted by the contributions of Froebel. Right from the start of his journalistic activities, he expressed respect, and even fascination for the works of these authors.

In 1899 he wrote in one of the periodicals of the day: ‘The names of Pestalozzi, Froebel and Spencer shine with no less brilliance than the names of the greatest inventors of the twentieth century. For they discovered more than the unknown forces of nature; they discovered the unknown half of humanity: children.’9

Korczak frequently read the works of Tolstoy. The ideas contained in the essay ‘Who is to learn from whom how to write: peasant children from us, or we from peasant children?’ were particularly close to his own. Like Tolstoy, he proclaimed the need to rise up and open our minds to the thoughts, emotions and experiences of children.9

Korczak’s programme of pedagogical work was based on the thesis that children should be fully understood, that one should enter into the spirit of their world and psychology, but that, first and foremost, children must be respected and loved, treated in fact as partners and friends. In his own words: ‘Children are not future people, because they are people already….Children are people whose souls contain the seeds of all those thoughts and emotions that we possess. As these seeds develop, their growth must be gently directed.’11

The view that children differ but little from adults permeates almost all of Korczak’s actions. Thus he himself treated each child as one ought to behave towards a respected, thinking and feeling adult human being. He would assert that the main differences between children and adults can be observed in the emotive domain, and drew the conclusion that it is necessary to study this domain, and acquire the ability to participate in children’s experiences.

On the basis of Korczak’s written and practical legacy, we can outline many other key ideas of his pedagogical programme. Some of these thoughts are still relevant today.

Apart from those mentioned above, involving a specific view of the child’s social status, they also include deliberations on the need to introduce new ways of teaching in school. He criticized teaching through lectures, detachment of school curricula from life, and excessive formal relationships between teachers and pupils. He called for the establishment of schools that children would like, offering interesting and useful subjects, and promoting a harmonious educational relationship. He stressed the need to create a holistic system of education, with co-operation between the school, the family and various social institutions.

No doubt these ideas were partly derived from the pedagogy of the New Education period, but they were partly the fruit of Korczak’s own experimentation and meditation. The originality of his educational concepts was most clearly evident in the work he did in reform institutions, orphanages and summer camps for children.

The apparently minor and unimportant educational and protective measures, applied by Korczak in his work with children, in fact constitute a set of logically consistent and well-conceived actions. For instance, he assumed that a group of children can function well only if provided with appropriate daily living conditions. Therefore he paid attention to children’s living quarters, diet, opportunities for rest, and hygiene. In this respect he was both a typical representative of contemporary pedagogy, which paid much attention to these very matters, and a physician conscious of the importance of such conditions for child development.

It was a central idea of Korczak’s pedagogy that children should be provided, as far as possible, with a proper educational atmosphere in a home environment. For those children with a family home, this atmosphere should be created by the parents, whereas in the case of orphans or children with no family home for some other reason, the appropriate educational climate must be created in the orphanage or child-care institution. In such institutions, the children themselves should fulfil functions typical of family members; for instance, older children should take care of younger ones, and should participate in home-making activities. For such participation to be meaningful, they must carry out specific chores. Respect for work and an understanding of the need to work are important components of the educational programme adopted by Janusz Korczak.

Introduction of the principles of self-government had to become, in Korczak’s opinion, a significant characteristic of pedagogical work with children. Together with adults, children are to agree to rules governing the life of the child-care institution, and then see to it that the rules are followed. Self-government of this form, which is truly authentic self-government, was introduced by Korczak in the orphanages with which he worked. The children’s self-government bodies were a self-government council and a system of arbitration by fellow-inmates. The establishment of rules to be followed by both staff and inmates was an important component of self-government.12

In an atmosphere of joint responsibility and self-government, children cared a lot about the opinions of their comrades and staff concerning tasks carried out, progress in studies or other matters, constituting the life of the group or its individual members. Therefore much attention was paid to various forms of exchange of views. These included news-sheets, meetings of inmates and goodwill plebiscites. The latter was an original idea in Korczak’s pedagogy, to be developed years later in sociometric methods.

It is not possible in this short review to present all, and not even the most important aspects of Janusz Korczak’s rich and extremely wide-ranging pedagogical programme. But the above examples of his main ideas are enough to reveal Korczak’s profoundly human attitude, the attitude of an educator creating his own programme with mind and heart, who hoped that ‘by giving [children] maximum freedom subject to the necessary order….at least one ray of sunshine could be brought into their grey, gloomy lives’.13

Korczak’s greatest success was not in fact the formulation and launching of his programme.

The best reason for accepting, respecting and even admiring him is the exceptional perseverance with which he implemented this programme in practice.

His work as an educator and teacher

Korczak’s first experience in pedagogical practice was acquired when he still worked as a physician. While a student at the Department of Medicine he accepted work in summer camps for children. In 1904 he participated in such camps for Jewish children at Michalòwka, in Ostròw Mazowiecki county. At this early stage he introduced some of his own ideas for organizing the life of a community of children. These included special duties, a system of self-control and the goodwill plebiscite.14

He worked once more in children’s camps in the summers of 1907 and 1908. This gave him additional experience and an opportunity to test new ways of solving educational problems.15

In 1910 a building lot was purchased at Krochmalna Street in Warsaw, for the purpose of establishing an orphanage. This he did, introducing his pedagogical programme into the orphanage’s everyday life during the years 1912–14.

He returned to his educational work as soon as he came home from the war. He collaborated with the Nasz Dom (Our Home) Educational Institute at Pruskòw near Warsaw. He resolutely overcame numerous difficulties, mainly material in nature, of the Warsaw Home for Orphans. He helped the superintendent of the home to direct the educational programme. When this institution moved to Warsaw a few years later, he continued to be involved in its management.

His contract with Nasz Dom continued until 1936.


In addition to these educational activities, Korczak accepted teaching positions in various schools on a number of occasions. In 1901, while still a young man, he worked at a clandestine boarding-school for girls. This school was run by S. Sempolowska, well known in Poland as a socio-educational activist, journalist and educator.16

Korczak engaged in various forms of popularization of knowledge with the Warsaw Philanthropic Institution, in free reading-rooms, and through the Warsaw Society for Hygiene.

From 1900 he was associated with the Flying University, a clandestine post-secondary school that operated in Warsaw during the Russian partition.17 In 1905–06 the school was legalized as the Society for Academic Courses. Later on (after 1915) the Polish Free University was founded, and Korczak soon became involved. In 1922 he gave a course at the National Institute of Special Education,18 a school that prepared educators for work with handicapped and educationally difficult children. He gave numerous courses and lectures to scientific and lay audiences.

Korczak returned to practical educational activity in 1939. Working in an orphanage, he helped children made homeless by the war. He fought to maintain the orphanage, and was forced to move with the children to different buildings on several occasions. As a home for Jewish children, it was within the confines of the ghetto. Janusz Korczak and his children were transported to the Treblinka extermination camp in 1942. He remained with them and shared their tragic end.

His journalistic and literary works

Korczak’s journalistic and literary output is extremely impressive. The most recent and so far most complete bibliographies of his published works contain about 1,000 entries, including 24 books.19

His journalistic writings and various minor works are astonishing in their variety and in their breadth and multidimensionality of subject matter. His journalistic output consists to a large degree of short columns and humorous sketches. From an early beginning in 1896, Korczak willingly wrote for Kolce (Barbs), a partly satirical periodical. By 1901 his initial occasional contributions had turned into a constant and regular torrent. He ran the ‘Felieton Kolcòw’ (Barbs Column), in which he wrote humorous sketches, small essays, dialogues and anecdotes. By 1904 more than 200 items had appeared in Kolce within the space of nine years.20 He wrote about social behaviour and customs, and topical Warsaw issues, criticizing people’s traditional mentality, and especially bourgeois morality, pretence and hypocrisy. He also criticized traditional upbringing of children and adolescents, particularly of girls, poking fun at successive fashions, and drawing attention to the faults of schools and other shortcomings of education. He devoted much space to observations of conditions in poor districts.

In the years 1899–1901 he published mainly in Czytelnia dla Wszystkich (Universal Reader), a weekly with avowed popularization and social welfare goals.21 His articles were on social subjects, and often popular-scientific in nature. In 1904 he became involved with Glos-Tygodnik Naukowo-Literacki, Spoleczny i Polityczny (Voice—a scientific, literary, social and political weekly). Glos represented the progressive intelligentsia, publishing authors such as the well-known writers S. Brzozowski, S. Prsybyszewski and S. Zeromski, the educator and psychologist J.W. David, and the famous socialist activist J. Marchlewski. During this period he met Z. Nalkowska, the famous writer, and L. Zamenhof, the creator of Esperanto.

About sixty of his articles, on social, political and educational matters, were published in Glos in the period 1904–05. Including vignettes of lives of Warsaw children, polemical articles, and correspondence from the Russo-Japanese front. After 1906 he published the Przeglad Spoleczny (Social review) and Spoleczenstwo (Society), which were founded when Glos closed down.

As he acquired more pedagogical experience, he wrote more about educational issues, and also took up various forms of literature for children. He published poems and stories, and later the summer camp reports in novel form, Moski, Jòzki i Srule and Jòzki, Jaski i Franki. These novels are narrations of his experiences in camps for children.


With time, he wrote more and more for children. He first published minor works and then moved onto longer ones, such as Kròl Macius Pierwszy (King Matt the First), Kròl Macius na bezludnef wyspie (King Matt on a desert island), Bankructwo malego Dzeka (Little Jack’s bankruptcy) and Prawidia Zycia (Rules for living). These books were highly appreciated and ran to many editions.

Korczak also wrote special articles for children in the periodical W Slòncu (In the sun), where he took up many complicated political and social issues. Much of his writing was for the children’s periodical Maly Przeglad (Little review), which he established and which was later edited jointly by children and adolescents.22

His pedagogical thoughts and philosophy of education were set out in the books: Jak kochac dziecko (How to love children), Momenty wychowawcze (Educational instants), Kiedy znòw bede maly (When I am small again), Prawo dziecka do szacunku (The child’s right to respect). He also wrote for many pedagogical journals; Rocznik Pedagogiczny (Pedagogical annals), Praca Szkolna (Working in schools) and Glos Nauczycielski (Teacher’s voice).

Finally, Janusz Korczak was the author of a number of literary works—novels, stories and a play. His Senat szalencòw (Madmen’s senate) was performed in 1931 by the Ateneum Theatre, and was received with great interest.

Korczak’s activity as a writer waned in the 1930s. During this period he became very interested in Jewish and Hebrew culture, travelling to Palestine in 1934 and 1936. He published articles and stories in Palestinian periodicals, as well as in Warsaw periodicals for Jewish youth.

As an adjunct to his pedagogical journalism he wrote minor works on hygiene, pediatrics and social medicine. He also had very popular radio talks in 1935–36 and 1938–39. These talks were published in 1939 in book form Pedagogika zartobliwa (Playful pedagogy).

Written during the Second World War, his Pamietnik (Memoires) occupies a special position among his writings, as a work written under tragic circumstances, in an atmosphere of growing cruelty and aggression.

Korczak’s legacy

Korczak’s pedagogical works, journalism and educational practice attracted enormous attention even during his lifetime. He lived to see much of his writing translated into foreign languages, and the principles of Korczak’s pedagogy and examples of their implementation were well known abroad.

By the opening decades of this century, Korczak’s work was known and highly regarded in Russia before and after the Revolution. The Orphan’s Home in Warsaw became a model institution of its kind, visited by many foreigners and familiar to Poles. The work done there exerted a considerable influence on the educational process in other orphanages of the same type.

Experiences and ideas tested in the Orphans’ Home were transferred to schools and extra-curricular educational institutions. This happened both before and after the Second World War.23

Korczak’s pedagogical ideas still arouse the interest of successive generations of teachers and educators. Many schools adopt his name as their own, and the Korczak school movement, based on implementing his pedagogical principles, is very much alive.

The ‘Old Doctor’s’ books are still being published. His children’s books, especially the King Matt series, are read by young people in many countries. His educational books are studied by adults who want to make education useful and enjoyable for children.

Research on the theory and practice of Korczak pedagogy is being carried out in various countries. There are active Korczak research centres in Poland, the Federal Republic of Germany, Israel, France and the USSR. Korczak’s ideas have won recognition from the world educational community ‘as manifested by UNESCO’s commemoration of the centenary of Korczak’s birth in 1978. The task of collecting knowledge about Korczak and his work is being continued by, among others, the Janusz Korczak International Society, and the Janusz Korczak Pedagogical Legacy Group at Warsaw’s Pedagogical Research Institute. As a result, his life work is still influencing the development of pedagogical thought and educational practice. But the main reason for broad acceptance of, and interest in, Korczak’s life and work is the valuable content of his pedagogy as such, as well as the impressive output of his entire life, a life devoted to putting smiles on children’s faces and to making adults better people. He was ever faithful to his conviction that ‘our strongest bond with life is the child’s open and radiant smile’.24

True to children and true to his ideals, ever true to himself, he laid down his own life in sharing with the children their tragic fate at Treblinka. He did not take advantage of the opportunity to relinquish his charges and save his own life at that price, because he really lived for his children.

Janusz Korczak exerted and continues to exert an influence on the minds and hearts of mankind, not only through his pedagogical writing, journalism, educational and medical practice, and literary works. His influence also springs from his exceptional personality, the passion of his struggle for children’s happiness, and the warm sentiment he displayed for those in his care. It springs from his life itself and the sacrifice of his life under tragic circumstances.

Obstinately and with unwavering conviction, he strove to overcome the social evils affecting many people, in particular children. He managed to help children and adults of goodwill in the creation of better living conditions. He persevered in his work to the very end, providing an example of social and professional activity worthy of emulation. The model he left behind is perhaps his most valuable legacy. He also left future generations a challenge expressed in the words: ‘It is inadmissible to leave the world as one finds it.’25


  1. Tadeusz Lewowicki (Poland). Ph.D. Professor of general education at Warsaw University and former dean of the Faculty of Education, Warsaw University, 1977–81. Deputy director of the Institute for Scientific Policy in Higher Education, 1981–85, director of the Institute for Educational Research, 1985–89 and vice-chairman of the Committee of Experts for National Education Editor of Ruch Pedagogiczny [The educational movement] and author of about 300 publications, including Aspiracje dzieci I mlodziezy

[Aspirations of children and young people] (1987) and Proces ksztalcenia w szkole wyzszej [The educational process at the secondary school].

  1. Merzan, ‘Rodowòd Korczaka w swietle nowych dokumentòw [Korczak’s lineage in the light of new documents]’. Folks-Sztyme, no. 41, 1976.
  2. Korczak, ‘Dedykacja [Dedication]’. Sam na sam z Bogiem, czyli modlitwy tych, ktòrzy sie nie modla [One on one with God, or the prayers of those who do not pray]. Warsaw, J. Mortkowicz, Towarzystwo Wydawnicze, 1922.
  3. Lewin (ed.), Janusz Korczak. Pisma wybrane [Selected Works]. vol. I, p. 9, Warsaw, Nasza Ksiegarnia, 1978.

From a letter by Janusz Korczak to Nasz Przeglad [Our Review], no. 140, 1925.

‘Medycyna w samorzadzie [Medicine in self-government]’ in Praca zbiorowa podjeta i wydana staraniem lekarzy warszawskich [Collective work undertaken and published through the efforts of Warsaw physicians].

Warsaw, 1906; in E.Wende and Skal: ‘Tajemnice pracy zawodowej akuszerek [Professional secrets of midwives]’. Krytyka Lekarska [Medical Critique], 1907, no.2.

These articles appeared between 1909 and 1911 in Medycyna i Kronika Lekarska [Medicine and the doctor’s chronicle] and Przeglad Pediatryczny [Pediatric review].

Lewin, op. cit., p. 8.

Czytelnia dla Wszystkich [Universal Reader], no. 52, 1899, p. 2.

  1. Korczak, Kiedy znow bede maly [When I am small again]. Warsaw, 1925; J. Mortkowicz, Towarzystwo Wydawnicze; Lewin, op. cit.

Janusz [Korczak], ‘Rozwòj idei milosci blizniego w xix wieku [Development of the love-thy-neighbour ideal in the nineteenth century]’, Czytelnia dla Wszystkich [Universal Reader], no. 52, 1899.

See S. Woloszyn, Historia wychowania i zarys mysli pedagogicznej [History of education and introduction to pedagogical thought]. Warsaw, PWN, 1964; A. Lewin, op. cit.


See the ‘Michalòwka’ series in Izraelita, no. 41-2, 1904.

Ibid., no. 41–5 and 47–53.

He presents them in, for example, a series of vignettes of camp life, published in Moski, Joski i Srule (Warsaw, 1910), and in the series Jòzki, Jaski i Franki, published in 1911.

  1. Falkowska, Janusz Korczak — kalendarium tycia, dzialalnisci i twòrszosci [Janusz Korczak—a chronology of his life, work and writings] (In press).



See Janusz Korczak, Bibliografia 1896–1942 (Collective works edited by A. Lewin). Heinsberg, Agentur Dieck Verlag, 1985.


  1. Ciesielska, ‘Charakterystyka spuscizny pisarkiej Janusz Korczak [Janusz Korczak’s legacy as a writer]’

in Korczak, op. cit.


See Lewin, op. cit.

See J. Korczak, ‘Smiej sie [Burst out laughing]’, Czytelnia dla Wszystkich [Universal Reader], no. 2, 1900.

This sentence was written by Janusz Korczak in 1937, after many years of experience and strife, and still full of the will to continue his work.

Works by Korczak

The bibliography of Janusa Korczak’s works in Polish comprises about 1,100 publications (together with new editions).

Main assembled works:

Pisma wybrane [Selected works]. Introduction and selection by Aleksander Lewin. Warszawa, Nasza Ksiegarnia, 1984, vol.. 1–2.

Pisma wybrane [Selected works]. Introduction and selection by Aleksander Lewin. Warszawa, Nasza Ksiegarnia, 1985, vol.. 3.

Pisma wybrane [Selected works]. Introduction and selection by Aleksander Lewin. Warszawa, Nasza Ksiegarnia, 1986, vol.. 4.

Wybór pism [Selected texts]. Selected by Stefan Wol,/oszyn. Warszawa, Wiedza Powszechna, 1982.

Fragmenty utworów [An anthology of works]. Selected by Danuta Stepniewska. Warszawa, Nasza Ksiegarnia, 1978.

A full bibliography of Korczak’s works is to be found in:

Janusz Korczak. Bibliografia 1896–1942.  Heinsberg, Agentur Dieck, 1985.

Janusz Korczak. Bibliografia polska 1943–1987.  Heinsberg, Agentur Dieck, 1988.

Selected Works of Janusz Korczak. Warsaw, 1967.

  1. Korczak: Ghetto Diary. New York, Holocaust Library, 1978.
  2. Korczak: Wie man ein Kind lieben soll [ ]. Göttingen, Vandenhoeck und Rprecht, 1967.
  3. Korczak: Der kleine Prophet [ ]. Gütersloh, Güterslohner Verlaghaus Gerd Mohn, 1988.
  4. Korczak: Verteidigt die Kinder. Erzählende Pädagogik [ ]. Gütersloh, Güterslohner Verlaghaus Gerd Mohn, 1978.

Allein mit gott. Gebete eines Menschen, der nicht betet [ ]. Gütersloh, Güterslohner Verlaghaus, 1981.

  1. Korczak: Colonies de vacances [ ]. Paris, La pensée universelle, 1984.
  2. Korczak: Comment aimer un enfant [ ]. Paris, Eds. Robert Lafont, 1978.
  3. Korczak: Le gloire [ ]. Flemmenan, 1980.
  4. Korczak: Moïse, le Benjamin de la Bible [ ]. Paris, UNESCO, 1988.
  5. Korczak: Le Droit de ? enfant en respect [ ]. Paris, Eds. Robert Lafont, 1979.


Beiner, F.; Dauzenroth, E.; Lax, E. J. Korczak. Bibliographie, Quellen und Literatur 1943–1987 [⋅⋅⋅]. Heinsberg, Agentur Dieck, 1987.


Copyright notice

The following text was originally published in Prospects:the quarterly review of comparative education (Paris, UNESCO: International Bureau of Education), vol. XXIV, no. 1/2, 1994, p. 37–48

Reproduced with permission. Read the PDF version of the article here.


The KPI Institute’s 2024 Agenda is now available! |  The latest updates from The KPI Institute |  Thriving testimonials from our clients |