Love at Korczak Orphanage
Love, respect and trust lie at the foundation of Korczak's philosophy of how to raise a child.
Heart is there to love. Stomach feels hungry when it is empty and deprived of nourishment but heart is hungry and sad and full of longing when it is not filled with love! - wrote Korczak.
Not only "children" but teenagers populated Korczak Orphanage and "love" with associated emotions has flourished not only in pedagogy but also among them, as shown in the letters that survived.
Below, some examples of love letters to Helenka that left the Orphanage for Argentina.
Yesterday coming back from school, I learned that you had sent a letter. And I thought to myself that it could not be yet for me.
But at supper, I have overheard Irka saying to Sara that she got a letter from Helenka (I was far but when they mentioned the name, Helenka, my hearing has picked). I was angry why not me (please forgive me). And next morning Irka gave me your letter...
Another boy wrote:"I have such deep feelings for you and, as I dare say it, I love you.
I hardly survived the first days. Did not even go to say goodbye but forgive me (only if you want). No, I could not go because I did not want the" circle" I belong to make their conclusions. I know, am quite aware of, that I have - - it seems-- a "powerful" rival...
"Forgive me for such a brave approach. A letter like this and the rest... But I am so inspired..
Remaining full of love for you.
Always loving You
P. S. They are turning the lights off, cannot continue (am in the bedroom hall).
Chaim K. 25.III.39
Am closing my eyes, dreaming about You,
Translation from Polish by Helena R. Brus.