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Statue Unveiled for Warsaw Ghetto Hero

Polish government officials unveiled a memorial plaque in Warsaw in honor of Warsaw Ghetto hero Janusz Korczak.

Sunday’s unveiling took place exactly 70 years after German soldiers sent Korczak and 192 Jewish orphans to their deaths in Treblinka, a Nazi extermination camp.

Korczak, director of the Dom Sierot orphanage for Jewish children, declined help from friends in the Polish underground who offered to hide him. He insisted on staying with the children and orphanage staff.

During the ceremony, representatives of Poland’s Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Culture read aloud a letter written by Poland’s first lady, Anna Komorowska. They laid wreaths at a statue of Korczak situated near the plaque.

The plaque was installed on the site of the last location of Korczak’s orphanage, in the area that Nazi forces declared as the city’s Jewish ghetto.

Sunday’s ceremony was part of a series of commemorative events in the framework of Korczak Year, a government-sponsored campaign headed by Komorowska.

In addition to Korczak, the children and the orphanage staff, some 6,400 people were deported on Aug. 5, 1942 to Treblinka from the Warsaw Ghetto.

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