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Additional info for The King of Children: The Life and Death of Janusz Korczak
And it came to him with sudden clarity that the son of a madman, “a slave who is a Polish Jew under Russian occupation,” had no right to bring a child into the world. ” He who was ambivalent about so many things had now settled once and for all on remaining childless. He was giving up the responsibilities of marriage and family at which his father had failed-and for which, in truth, he, Janusz Korczak, had never shown any inclination. Though he could not remain a child, he would inhabit the world of childhood, but as the “responsible pedagogue” his father was not.
Even Walenty (who still muttered about all the trouble and that no good would come of all this) was growing protective of Stefan. ” Korczak hoped that Stefan would see the child in the man who sided with him, but he knew that the boy saw a balding thirty-nine-year-old medical officer who, in his eyes, was old. Yet Stefan admired him. “I’d like to write the letter K like you do,” he said. It reminded Korczak of how the orphans used to copy the way he wrote the letters of the alphabet. And of how long it had taken him to master writing the capital W like his father.
They had pulled him to the ground, fought over who would sit next to him, and hung breathlessly on his every word. ” All the boys immediately leapt up and ran toward the flock, forgetting the storyteller. ” When news of the progressive Warsaw orphanage experimenting with self-government spread beyond Poland to other countries, Korczak found that, along with everything else, he had to cope with a constant parade of foreign officials and educators, including a team of Russian architects who spent days copying the layout of the house.