Monday, November 20, 2017

Warsaw Ghetto Museum - I hope it is not just the words

The very first plan of the Jewish Children Hospital in Warsaw located between two streets - Sliska and Sienna.

Jewish Children Hospital in Warsaw

Janusz Korczak, Izaak Eliasberg (middle) i Stefania Wilczyńska

Poland will build a museum focused on life and death in the Warsaw Ghetto.
“The museum will be located in a building that had been used as a children’s hospital inside the ghetto and will be established in collaboration with the Jewish Historical Institute,” said Polish Minister of Culture.
He meant Jewish hospital named after Jewish philanthropic families - Berson and Bauman. The hospital where dr. Eliasberg and Janusz Korczak worked at 51 Sliska Str.

Dr. Izaak Eliasberg met young Korczak at the Berson-Bauman Hospital and this spot is actually the start point of the Orphanage Dom Sierot. Korczak was not just working at the hospital, he got the position as "local doctor" (after dr. Julian Kramsztyk) and got the flat within the hospital area.

In the Application (Feb. 1942) Korczak wrote about his time at the hospital:
My masters in the hospital at Sliska St.: the ironist and nihilist Koral, the jovial Kramsztyk, the serious Santz, the fine diagnostician Eliasberg, and also assistant surgeon Sliiewski and a selfless nurse, Laja. I expect to meet more of the kind of Laja in the children's slaughter house (and morgue) at 39 Dzielna St. Hospital revealed to me how dignified, mature and sensible a child is face to face with death.

In the same Application Korczak wrote: 
Jobs so far: 
1. Seven years, with intervals, as sole house surgeon in the Sliska Street hospital.

Jewish Children Hospital in Warsaw after WWII.
Warsaw Ghetto. The Jewish Children Hospital is marked with blue dot while Janusz Korczak Orphanage in the Ghetto is marked with a red dot. Blue line is the ghetto border in 1942, prior to deportations to death camp Treblinka.

Until now the only museum fully dedicated to the Warsaw Ghetto and the Warsaw Ghetto Uprise is in Israel - The Ghetto Fighters House Museum. The exhibition there is both chronological and thematic. It highlights the centrality of the youth movements and the Jewish stance – in every sense of the word – as a core value in Holocaust remembrance. 

The exhibits feature a number of key historical figures who hold a prominent place in the ethos of the Fighters´ House: poet-playwright-Zionist educator Itzhak Katzenelson, pediatrician-author and child-welfare advocate Dr. Janusz Korczak, historian and archivist Dr. Emanuel Ringelblum who directed the “Oneg Shabbat” clandestine archives documenting life in the Warsaw ghetto, and ofcourse Yitzhak “Antek” Zuckerman and Zivia Lubetkin: Zionist youth movement leaders and fighting underground commanders who survived to become founders of the kibbutz and the Ghetto Fighters’ House.