Here’s how this week’s arts and culture column begins:

Polish Jew Janusz Korczak (1878-1942) was a medical doctor, author, and children’s rights advocate.

He was also a hero of the Nazi era who, even today, remains largely unknown.

Biographer Betty Jean Lifton tells the story in “The King of Children” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $10.91).

Born Henryk Goldszmit in Warsaw, Korczak — the pen name he later adopted as a writer — had difficult beginnings.



  1. Such bravery. Such heroes. I fantasize of being so brave but I’m sure I’d be stark raving mad. If I could be such a brave person to the very people living under my own roof! God help me. I fail all too often. I will look differently at my grandchildren after having read this. Maybe I’ll let them “sue” me! Why not? Convict me and save me from being so lofty! And prideful! I appreciate you for introducing all of us to such beautiful saintly people. You make them come alive for me. God Bless you.

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      Blessings back to you, Gloria. I know, one reason I’m so fascinated by the heroes of the Nazi and Communist eras is that I know full well I would fold at the first sound of the jackboots, betray all my friends, and reveal myself as the abject craven coward I have always known myself to be. My incredulity at the heroism of these members of The Righteous is accompanied by deep compassion for those who were not so heroic…

  2. Ingrid Christensen says: Reply

    I need to read about heroic lives. Thank you Heather.

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      Holy Week blessings, dear Ingrid…

  3. Anonymous says: Reply

    I always enjoy your Credible Witness articles in Magnificat and am glad that I resisted the urge to skip over this article when it came to me in the Angelus e-mail. Quite the story – of both him and Stefa. “No one who passed through [the train doors] was ever heard from again.” But thanks to you and Betty Jean Lifton, we can still hear about them and learn from their example. Well done!

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      It does me good to touch the hem of these heroes’ garments…The Lifton biography is just wonderful.

  4. Have a Blessed Holy Week, Heather.
    I’ve been convicted of my poor attitude in a past comment. Please forgive. Thank you for your writings and the vast resources you make available to your readers.🙏

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      Never even noticed, Elizabeth, so not to worry, thanks for your readership, and wishing you a blessed, blessed Holy Week!

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