You Are Free, Dr. Korczak (1974)
A Film from the Artur Brauner Collection at Our Library
In the Warsaw Ghetto, Polish Jew Janusz Korczak looks after about 200 orphans. Again and again, he manages to save one of his charges from certain death. On the orders of the German occupiers, the orphanage is to be vacated along with the entire ghetto and the children deported to Treblinka in 1942. Korczak decides not to leave "his" children alone to their fate – he dies with them at the extermination camp.
The movie portrays real people and events in the Warsaw ghetto. Polish director Aleksander Ford drew on the diaries of physician, educator, and children’s book author Dr. Janusz Korczak (1878–1942). In some film scenes, he also included photographs of the "Stroop Report", a report drawn up for Himmler about the ghetto’s liquidation. Artur Brauner had planned the film project back in the late 1950s. After the originally planned German–Polish co-production could not be realized for political reasons in the late 1960s, CCC was finally able to jointly produce it with an Israeli production company in 1973–74. Andrzej Wajda, who had studied under Ford and worked as his assistant, refilmed the same material in Poland in 1990.
Starring Leo Genn. Directed by Aleksander Ford.
- Ebbrecht-Hartmann, Tobias. "New DVD: Sie sind frei, Dr. Korczak” (You Are Free, Dr. Korczak) (West Germany/Israel 1973). In: Internationale Schule für Holocaust-Studien (International School for Holocaust Studies). Published in the Yad Vashem E-Newsletter, 15 (2014).
- Lubelski, Tadeusz. Korczak on Screen, Kraków: Fundacja Judaica - Centrum Kultury Żydowskiej, 2011.