10 Commandments for Parents of a Man Who Accompanied Children to the Gas Chamber

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I happen to stumble upon this incredibly humbling and heartwarming, heart-wracking author. This man valued human life and treasured a child’s heart during one of the most horrific and tragic times in human history when life meant nothing.

Janusz Korczak was a Polish-Jewish educator, children’s author, and pediatrician. He also was a director of two orphanages. Mariola – the founder of the Janusz Korczak Association of the USA, brought to my attention that Korczak had a Montessori corner in the orphanage in Warsaw. After the Nazis took control of Poland Janusz Korczak received an offer of refuge, but refused to leave his young children who were forced into a Jewish ghetto. And when those 200 children were rounded up for deportation to the concentration camp, Korczak famously accompanied them in a dignified march to the train station, later they parishes in the Treblinka extermination camp. Author of an incredible children’s book he also shared his parenting advice.

You can find out more about Janusz Korczak’s life and work by visiting the Janusz Korczak Association of the USA website

Here are some of his books:

King Matt the First

This moving fable follows the adventures of Matt who becomes king when just a child and decides to reform his country according to his own priorities. Ignoring his grown-up ministers, he builds the best zoo in the world and decrees that children should be given chocolate every day. He fights in battles, braves the jungle, and crosses the desert, but perhaps the most life-altering thing of all is that the lonely boy king finds true friends. This timeless book shows us not only what children’s literature can be, but what children can be.

Kaytek the Wizard

Kaytek, a mischievous schoolboy who wants to become a wizard, is surprised to discover that he is able to perform magic spells and change reality. He begins to lead a double life: a powerful wizard in the dress of an ordinary boy. It’s all great fun using magic to cause strange incidents in his school and neighborhood, but soon Kaytek’s increasing powers cause major chaos around the city of Warsaw. Disillusioned, he leaves the country and wanders the world in search of the meaning of his good intentions, his unique abilities, and their consequences. Revolving around the notion that power is not without responsibility, nor without repercussions, this story speaks to every child’s dream of freeing themselves from the endless control of adults, and shaping the world to their own designs.

Loving Every Child

Wisdom for ParentsThis collection of one hundred quotations and passages from legendary educator Janusz Korczak offers valuable advice and observations on how to take care of, respect, and love every child – from understanding a newborn’s mysterious behaviour to answering the outrageous questions kids ask to confronting the conundrum that is adolescence. In an inviting gift-book format, which also includes a short chapter on Korczak’s life, this is a heartfelt and helpful reminder of who we were as children and who we might become as parents.


  1. Do not expect that your child will be just like you, or the way you want him to be. Help him to become not you, but himself.
  2. Do not expect your child to return everything you invested in him. You gave him his life, how he can repay you? He will give life to another, and this is an irreversible law of gratitude.
  3. Do not vent your resentments on the child and avoid disappointment later on in life. For what you sow, is what you reap.
  4. Do not look down on your child’s problems. Everything in life is given according to what one can handle. Remember, a child’s life is just as challenging, it might be even more challenging than yours since he lacks life experience.
  5. Do not disgrace!
  6. Don’t forget that the most important encounters in life are encounters with children. Pay more attention to them – we can never know whom we encounter in the face of the child.
  7. Don’t beat yourself up if you cannot do something for your child. Simply remember, you haven’t done enough until you’ve done all you can.
  8. The child is not a tyrant who takes possession of your whole life, nor it is merely the fruit of the flesh and blood. This is a precious cup that God gave you to keep and develop in a creative fire.
  9. Learn to love the other person’s child. Never do to them what you wouldn’t have done to your child.
  10. Love your child no matter what he is – not talented, unsuccessful, or grown-up. When spending time with him rejoice because the child is a celebration that is still with you.

  About Anastasia. Anastasia is a former Early Childhood Teacher and the founder of Montessori Nature, a blog about Montessori - inspired and Nature-based explorations. She taught in a Montessori setting for 10 years and has been practicing the Montessori way of learning and living for the last 20 years. She loves designing engaging educational printables for children. Browse Anastasia's educational resources on Teachers Pay Teachers.

3 thoughts on “10 Commandments for Parents of a Man Who Accompanied Children to the Gas Chamber”

  1. What a remarkable man. Thanks for posting this information, as I had not come across this story before. I ordered "Loving every Child" from my library.

  2. So nice to come across this post. My father read me the series of King Matt books when I was a child and I remember them very fondly. My father still has the books and we will read them to my son when he is older. I didn’t know that Korczak had such wonderful parenting advice. Nor did I know his personal story. Thank you for sharing all of these.

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