Sunday, December 3, 2017

Will we find out how Korczak’s voice sound like? Where are Polish Radio recordings with the voice of the Old Doctor ?

Description of the Janusz Korczaks voice: 
He gave radio talks, during which children and grownups alike listened with bated breath to the voice of the Old Doctor. His rather low, warm tone, and the fact that he often paused as if seeking the precise word in just the way one does when talking to oneself or a confidant, created a sense of intimacy, of co-feeling.

An envelope addressed to Dr. Janusz Korczak, No. 8 Zlota St. Apt. #8, from the Lectures Department of the Polish Radio Programming Administration.

Janusz Korczak’s engagement with the Polish Radio is another special area of activity which adds to his literary work. Between 1934-36, he had his own radio talk-show, as part of which he created the figure of the Old Doctor (Stary Doktor). A fully-developed radio character, the Old Doctor was admired by children and entire families of all faiths. The Old Doctor created a warm atmosphere, full of trust towards children. After an unexplained break in the broadcasts, which might have had something to do with growingly anti-Semitic tendencies in Poland, Korczak returned to the radio first in 1938 with a new series of broadcasts for older children and adults. 

Polish Radio building at 25 Zielna str (PR1) and at 7 Mazowiecka street (PR2).

Polish Radio building at 25 Zielna str (PR1) and at 7 Mazowiecka street (PR2).

His last show took place in September 1939, during WWII, when he addressed children in an attempt to soothe them and prepare them for what was coming, the war. 

Unfortunately, it is likely that no recordings of his broadcasts have survived WWII. Some of the recordings were found after WWII but not with programs of Janusz Korczak. So, we will probably never find out what his voice sounded like. However, we can read the content of his presentations; as the transcriptions were included in the issues of the Polish Radio Newspaper and also edited as a book in 1939.