The Ghetto Post Office by Gabriel Emanuel
The third play in a trilogy (following upon "Children of Night" and "Child of Night") The Ghetto Post Office recounts the incredible story of Polish-Jewish pedagogue, pediatrician and playwright, Dr. Janusz Korczak, who was head of an orphanage in the Warsaw ghetto. Korczak instilled humanity and dignity into the lives of his 200 young charges while the terror of the Holocaust raged outside the sanctuary of the Children's Home. In August, 1942 when the order was given by the Nazis to deport Korczak's children to the Treblinka death camp, Korczak was offered his freedom and safe passage out of the ghetto. He refused to abandon his children and instead in their hour of greatest need chose to accompany them to their bitter end. Based upon historical research, the play recreates the last night when Korczak prepared the children by having them perform the play, "The Post Office", by Rabindranath Tagore, in order to prepare them to accept their fate serenely. The next day the children proudly marched to the train station in their best clothes, carrying their school flag, and singing songs. Their march of dignity was in large part responsible for lighting the spark which ultimately led to the courageous Warsaw Ghetto uprising less than a year later.
Keywords: Warsaw ghetto uprising, Janusz Korczak, Holocaust play, Judenrat, children of the Holocaust, Jewish play,