Today is the 69th anniversary of the day when one of my dearest heroes, Janusz Korczak, marched with the children of his Warsaw Ghetto orphanage to the death trains that would take them to the Treblinka extermination camp. I would not say definitively that Korczak died that say — it may have taken another day or two for him to actually reach the gas chambers — but this is the last confirmed sighting of him. He had multiple chances to save his own life, but refused to abandon his orphans and got onto the train holding children in his arms.
I commemorated his passing with another guest entry on the Executed Today blog. Korczak died as he lived: an honest, honorable man who loved others more than he loved himself. It’s kind of ironic that he has become so famous because of the manner of his death when, as my guest entry shows, he had so many accomplishments while he lived.
I was going to blog about this earlier but I forgot: I heard from a distant relative of Mary Agnes Moroney a few days ago. She said the picture I currently have posted on Charley is NOT a picture of Mary Moroney, but rather one of Mary McClelland. McClelland believed she was Mary Moroney and had a well-publicized “reunion” with the Moroney family in the 1950s, but according to the relative, recent DNA tests have determined that she wasn’t really the missing baby.
The picture thing put me in a bit of a conundrum, since I’m not supposed to have Charley Project casefiles with no picture on them. I decided to leave it up for now, because the relative promises to send me pictures of the real Mary, and one baby looks much like any other.
The relative is trying to get the press interested in Mary’s case again — all press coverage pretty much stopped in 1952, when the case was “solved” with Mary McClelland’s appearance. I think it would be a great human interest news story. It’s solvable I think, even at this late date. There’s no indication that Mary Moroney came to harm and every possibility that she’s still alive. She would be 81 today, but plenty of women live to be that old. My grandma was 87 when she died.