On the second floor of Moody Memorial Library in the quiet study area of Prichard Commons, you will find a truly inspirational story wrapped around a small dark sculpture.
Drs. Carole and Tom Hanks
This cast bronze sculpture pays tribute to Dr. Janusz Korczak, a Polish pediatrician who refused numerous opportunities to escape during the Holocaust and stayed with the 200 Jewish children in his Warsaw orphanage. When the Nazis decided to deport those children to their deaths at Treblinka, Korczak perished also by choosing to go with them.
Sculpted by Baruch Saktsier, the artist's model depicts the Jewish doctor circling 12 semi-skeletal children protectively with one large hand. A larger-than-life-size model stands outside the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Israel.
The sculpture and display case were generously donated by Drs. Carole and Tom Hanks.
Interested in learning more? In the spring of 2014, students in Dr. Tom Hanks' business writing class began a journey of research and writing, focusing on the Korczak sculpture in Moody Library. These outstanding papers have been compiled into the book A legacy of love and of shame : Janusz Korczak and the children : a focus on the Holocaust, which is available for checkout at Moody. (https://bearcat.baylor.edu/record=b3898619~S10)
Photograph taken at 2010 memorial service with 2 survivors; Yad Vashem Museum, Jerusalem; courtesy of Yad Vashem (https://yadvashem.org/)