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'Le dernier chemin Korczak et les enfants pendant l'expulsion,' Warsaw ghetto, 1943, by Halina Olomucki.

Photograph | Digitized | Photograph Number: 38017

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    'Le dernier chemin Korczak et les enfants pendant l'expulsion,' Warsaw ghetto, 1943, by Halina Olomucki.
    'Le dernier chemin Korczak et les enfants pendant l'expulsion,' Warsaw ghetto, 1943,  by Halina Olomucki.


    'Le dernier chemin Korczak et les enfants pendant l'expulsion,' Warsaw ghetto, 1943, by Halina Olomucki.
    Warsaw, Poland
    Variant Locale
    Photo Credit
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Halina Olomucki
    Event History
    The Children's Home [Dom Sierot] was a Jewish orphanage established by Janusz Korczak in Warsaw in 1912. It was located at 92 Krochmalna Street in a building designed by Korczak to facilitate the implementation of his progressive educational theories. The orphanage was funded by the Jewish Orphans' Aid Society and served children between the ages of seven and fourteen. These children attended Polish public schools and government-sponsored Jewish schools, known as "Sabbath" schools, while they lived at the Krochmalna Street home. In 1921 the orphanage opened a summer camp on the Rozyczka farm in Goclawek. Rozyczka operated through the summer of 1940. Korczak's chief assistant and collaborator at the Krochmalna Street orphanage was Stefa Wilczynska.

    Rights & Restrictions

    Photo Source
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Provenance: Halina Olomucki
    Source Record ID: Collections: 1989.331.1

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Artifact Photographer
    Arnold Kramer
    Janusz Korczak (pen name of Henryk Goldszmit, 1878-1942) was a physician, writer, and educator who directed the Warsaw Jewish orphanage on Krochmalna Street. Korczak was highly regarded in Polish society for his contribution to Polish institutions, especially the "Our Home" orphanage, which he established in Warsaw in 1919. Though he received numerous awards, increased anti-Semitism in the 1930s soon barred his participation in all but exclusively Jewish projects. In 1934 and 1936 Korczak made two trips to Palestine, where he was greatly influenced by the social experimentation of the kibbutz movement. By 1937 he was convinced that all Jews should emigrate to the Jewish homeland. Soon after the German invasion of Poland in September 1939, the Jewish Orphans' Aid Society disbanded and funding for the Krochmalna Street orphanage was taken over by the JDC and CENTOS. With the establishment of the Warsaw ghetto in November 1940, the orphanage was moved to 33 Chlodna Street (or 16 Sienna Street, the second entrance) in the small ghetto. Although he received many offers to be smuggled out of the ghetto, Korczak refused to abandon the children. He continued until the end to press hard for material resources for the orphans and to maintain a strict regimen at the home. The end came on August 5-6, 1942, when the nearly 200 children and staff members of the orphanage were rounded-up for deportation. They marched in a silent procession of four columns to the Umschlagplatz, where they were saluted by ghetto police as they boarded the deportation train. All were put to death at Treblinka.

    Halina Olomucki (b. 1919), née Olszewski, Polish Jewish artist, who, while interned at the Majdanek and Auschwitz concentration camps during World War II, drew pictures that depicted the misery of daily life of the inmates. Olomucki was born on November 24, 1919 in Warsaw. She studied art as a youth and young adult but was forced to stop, but at the outbreak of World War II. While living in the Warsaw ghetto, Olomucki drew scenes that depicted the misery of the Jewish existence there, deportations and the ghetto revolt. Olomucki was assigned to a labor detail that worked on the Aryan side of Warsaw, enabling her to smuggle some of her drawings to her friends still living outside the ghetto. She also used the opportunity to smuggle in food for her family. From the ghetto, she was deported to Majdanek. Upon her arrival, she was separated from her mother, who was sent to the gas chamber. Olomucki went through a series of selections, until she was also put in a line that was destined for the gas chamber. However, she took advantage of a moment of confusion and slipped away into a group of laborers. She lacked the stamina to continue the labor, and when she reached the barracks, she lay down and waited to die. The head of the block came and asked if anyone knew how to paint; Olomucki volunteered. She was instructed to paint slogans on the walls. When she finished, she was given coffee and an extra ration. She was then tasked to paint the walls of the barracks. She squirreled away extra paint and brushes, which she used to paint scenes of the camp and portraits of her fellow inmates. From Majdanek, she was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. On July 8, 1943, she arrived and was given prisoner number 48652. In the camp, she was assigned to paint signs and decorations for the Stubendienst. German officials ordered various works from her and rewarded her with bread and cheese. Prisoners in the camp also asked her to draw their portraits. Olomucki hid over 200 of these portraits under the wooden planks in her barracks. When Auschwitz was evacuated on January 18, 1945, Olomucki was put on the death march to Ravensbrück. From there, she was transferred to Neustadt, where she was liberated. After the war, Olomucki continued to paint and draw. She married the architect Boleslan Olomucki, and they settled in Lodz. In 1957, she emigrated to Paris, and during the 1960's, she held several exhibitions in Paris and London. In 1972, she moved to Ashkelon, Israel, where she now resides. Her works are included in the permanent collections at the Ghetto Fighters' House, Yad Vashem, the Musée d'Histoire Contemporaine and the Auschwitz Museum.

    [Sources- Blatter, Janet and Milton, Sybil. Art of the Holocaust. New York: Rutledge, 1981; Mickenberg, David, Granof, Corinne and Hayes, Peter. The Last Expression: Art and Auschwitz. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2003; Ghetto Fighters House, "Learning About the Holocaust Through Art," (17 February, 2004).]
    Record last modified:
    2004-03-02 00:00:00
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