This hospital was founded during the years 1876-1878 thanks to the money and efforts of two families: Majer and Chaja Berson and Salomon and Paulina Bauman. In 1873, they bought the property between Śliska and Sienna streets. On this lot, thanks to their funding, a hospital complex designed by Artur Goebl was built specifically for the care of Jewish children. The hospital functioned thanks to funds from both families as well as from bequests. During the First World War, however, the hospital’s financial situation changed drastically. The endowments were subject to devaluation and the hospital was left without the financial means to continue functioning. In 1923, it had to close when its bank account ran out. The situation changed thanks to intervention of Dr.Anna Braude-Hellerowa, who arranged that the Children’s Friends Society took over the buildings from the board of the Berson and Bauman Families’ Foundation, and even began expanding the hospital.

The construction was funded by JOINT and by the Warsaw Jewish Community, and with funds borrowed from the city government and National Health Service. Leading specialists worked there, including Janusz Korczak. In the autumn of 1940, the hospital was on the border of the ghetto that had been created by the Germans. The ghetto’s boundaries were reduced as the Nazi regime tightened its grip.

On 10 August, the hospital, along with its patients and staff, was moved to the school building at Leszno St, on the corner of Żelazna. On 13 August, they were sent to the death camp at Treblinka.

During the Second World War, the building itself did not suffer as much damage as the downtown area, which had been turned into ruins. When the ghetto was reduced in size, the hospital was moved, and the Pediatric Clinic (previously of the University of Warsaw, on Litewska Street) was moved to the buildings on Sienna Street. The Pediatric Clinic remained at this location until it was evacuated during the Warsaw Uprising. During the fighting, from August to October 1944, it was the only professional medical institution in this part of the city.

In 1946-1952, the Central Committee of Jews in Poland was housed in the hospital buildings. Later, they once again were used as a hospital. After the wartime damage was repaired and they were renovated, a hospital for children with contagious diseases was opened. In 1988-1993, the entire building was rebuilt and modernized, and today houses the Children of Warsaw Hospital.

Anna Szczepan-Wojnarowska