Urszula Gacek: What Janusz Korczak means to me

In this podcast, Poland’s ambassador to the Council of Europe Urszula Gacek, discusses the legacy of national hero Janusz Korczak, who died at the Treblinka death camp 70 years ago.

The ambassador honours the “incredible heroism” of Korczak, who chose certain death in the Nazi concentration camp in 1942, rather than abandon the 200 orphans in his care.

Council of Europe audio

“Today, we are discussing not so much Korczak the martyr and Korczak the hero but Korczak the teacher – somebody who was way ahead of his time and who based his teachings on human rights.

“From the earliest age he was teaching people in the orphanage about rights and responsibilities. This was democracy, human rights and the rule of law in action from a gentlemen who dies 70 years ago.

“To talk about children having rights was completely alien. He was a man out of his time not only in Poland but in the rest of Europe. Now 70 years on he is just on time. The message is just right.”

The Essential

Information: Memorial lecture , Photo gallery , Storify

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