Other forms of heroic passive resistance

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Janusz Korczak orchestra.jpg

Janusz Korczak with the orchestra of the children's home, Warsaw.

Image: © 2012 Yad Vashem The Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority.


When on the 5 August 1942, the Nazis rounded up the 200 children from the orphanage for deportation to Treblinka Korczak accompanied them.

He marched in front of the children into the Umschlagplatz and onto the train.

When they arrived at Treblinka Korczak stayed with the children so that they would not be frightened. They were all murdered.

Oneg Shabbat

Resistance within the Warsaw ghetto took many forms.

Many artists and academics produced documentary evidence of life within the ghetto with the intention of demonstrating the actions of the Nazis to the outside world.

Emanuel Ringelblum, a historian from Warsaw who was a prominent member in the mutual aid organisations, founded an organisation that aimed to collect an accurate record of the events within Nazi-occupied Poland. The organisation gathered documents, writings, images and other evidence. They packed these into milk churns and other devices, which were then buried. The record became known as ‘Oneg Shabbat’ - ‘In celebration of Shabbat'.

After the war many of these valuable eyewitness accounts were found, but many still remain hidden.

Janusz Korczak

Janusz Korczak was a Polish Jewish doctor, author and teacher who devoted his life to caring for children. He believed that children should be listened to and respected. Before the war he wrote many books for and about children. He also made children’s radio programmes.

Korczak initially resisted the Nazi’s regulations and was imprisoned. When the Nazis established a ghetto he set up his orphanage. His non-Jewish friends offered to hide him outside of the ghetto, but Korczak refused and chose to stay with the children.

He taught the orphaned children and tried to make their lives as normal as possible by organising plays and other cultural events.