The counterfeit Countess

the Jewish woman who rescued thousands of Poles during the Holocaust
Elizabeth B White and Joanna Sliwa
Book - 2024

"The astonishing story of Dr. Josephine Janina Mehlberg--a Jewish mathematician who saved thousands of lives in Nazi-occupied Poland by masquerading as a Polish aristocrat--drawing on Mehlberg's own unpublished memoir. World War II and the Holocaust have given rise to many stories of resistance and rescue, but The Counterfeit Countess is unique. It tells the remarkable, unknown story of "Countess Janina Suchodolska," a Jewish woman who rescued more than 10,000 Poles imprisoned by Poland's Nazi occupiers. Mehlberg operated in Lublin, Poland, headquarters of Aktion Reinhard, the SS operation that murdered 1.7 million Jews in occupied Poland. Using the identity papers of a Polish aristocrat, she worked as a welfare official while also serving in the Polish resistance. With guile, cajolery, and steely persistence, the "Countess" persuaded SS officials to release thousands of Poles from the Majdanek concentration camp. She won permission to deliver food and medicine--even decorated Christmas trees--for thousands more of the camp's prisoners. At the same time, she personally smuggled supplies and messages to resistance fighters imprisoned at Majdanek, where 63,000 Jews were murdered in gas chambers and shooting pits. Incredibly, she eluded detection, and ultimately survived the war and emigrated to the US. Drawing on the manuscript of Mehlberg's own unpublished memoir, supplemented with prodigious research, Elizabeth White and Joanna Sliwa, professional historians and Holocaust experts, have uncovered the full story of this remarkable woman. They interweave Mehlberg's sometimes harrowing personal testimony with broader historical narrative. Like The Light of Days, Schindler's List, and Irena's Children, The Counterfeit Countess is an unforgettable account of inspiring courage in the face of unspeakable cruelty"--

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Bibliographic Details
Main Authors: White, Elizabeth B. (Author), Sliwa, Joanna (Author)
Format: Book
Language:English
Published: New York, NY : Simons & Schuster, 2024.
Edition:First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition.
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The counterfeit countess
The jewish woman who rescued thousands of poles during the holocaust
ebook
by White, Elizabeth B.
Published 2024
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245 1 4 |a The counterfeit Countess :  |b the Jewish woman who rescued thousands of Poles during the Holocaust /  |c Elizabeth B. White and Joanna Sliwa. 
246 3 0 |a Jewish woman who rescued thousands of Poles during the Holocaust 
250 |a First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition. 
264 1 |a New York, NY :  |b Simons & Schuster,  |c 2024. 
300 |a xxix, 305 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates :  |b illustrations, maps ;  |c 24 cm 
336 |a text  |b txt  |2 rdacontent 
337 |a unmediated  |b n  |2 rdamedia 
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504 |a Includes bibliographical references (pages 253-290) and index. 
505 0 |a Introduction -- Before -- The beginning of the end -- Terror comes to Lwów -- Transformation -- The dystopian utopia -- Annihilation -- "Better to die a soldier" -- Frozen cargo -- The Polish question -- Majdanek -- Janina's lists -- Rescue -- Soup with a side of hope -- Harvest of death -- Christmas at Majdanek -- Cat and mouse -- The plot -- The end approaches -- Blood on the stairs -- The end -- Flight -- A new beginning -- Epilogue: "Janina's story" -- Coda. 
520 |a "The astonishing story of Dr. Josephine Janina Mehlberg--a Jewish mathematician who saved thousands of lives in Nazi-occupied Poland by masquerading as a Polish aristocrat--drawing on Mehlberg's own unpublished memoir. World War II and the Holocaust have given rise to many stories of resistance and rescue, but The Counterfeit Countess is unique. It tells the remarkable, unknown story of "Countess Janina Suchodolska," a Jewish woman who rescued more than 10,000 Poles imprisoned by Poland's Nazi occupiers. Mehlberg operated in Lublin, Poland, headquarters of Aktion Reinhard, the SS operation that murdered 1.7 million Jews in occupied Poland. Using the identity papers of a Polish aristocrat, she worked as a welfare official while also serving in the Polish resistance. With guile, cajolery, and steely persistence, the "Countess" persuaded SS officials to release thousands of Poles from the Majdanek concentration camp. She won permission to deliver food and medicine--even decorated Christmas trees--for thousands more of the camp's prisoners. At the same time, she personally smuggled supplies and messages to resistance fighters imprisoned at Majdanek, where 63,000 Jews were murdered in gas chambers and shooting pits. Incredibly, she eluded detection, and ultimately survived the war and emigrated to the US. Drawing on the manuscript of Mehlberg's own unpublished memoir, supplemented with prodigious research, Elizabeth White and Joanna Sliwa, professional historians and Holocaust experts, have uncovered the full story of this remarkable woman. They interweave Mehlberg's sometimes harrowing personal testimony with broader historical narrative. Like The Light of Days, Schindler's List, and Irena's Children, The Counterfeit Countess is an unforgettable account of inspiring courage in the face of unspeakable cruelty"--  |c Provided by publisher. 
600 1 0 |a Mehlberg, Josephine Janina,  |d 1905-1969. 
610 2 0 |a Majdanek (Concentration camp) 
650 0 |a Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)  |z Poland  |z Lublin. 
650 0 |a World War, 1939-1945  |x Underground movements  |z Poland  |z Lublin  |v Biography. 
650 0 |a Women mathematicians  |z Poland  |v Biography. 
650 0 |a Impostors and imposture  |z Poland  |v Biography. 
650 0 |a Jewish women  |z Poland  |v Biography. 
651 0 |a Lublin (Poland)  |v Biography. 
655 7 |a Biographies.  |2 lcgft 
700 1 |a Sliwa, Joanna,  |e author. 
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