During the early 1940s, some five thousand Christians of Jewish origin lived in the Warsaw ghetto. In this remarkable book, which combines both memoir and historical analysis, Peter F. Dembowski describes their fate. He also brings to light the little known fact that within the Warsaw ghetto were fully functioning Christian churches, including at first three and later two Roman Catholic parishes.
"Professor Dembowski, a veteran of the Warsaw Uprising, draws upon personal recollection, archival material, and other works unavailable in English, in this moving account of a forgotten aspect of Holocaust history. As Professor Dembowski notes, this little book on the 'Jewish-Christian communities' of the Warsaw ghetto is a 'microhistory' —'a small part of the far larger tragedy of the Warsaw ghetto and of the entire Shoah.' But it is only through such small parts that we can begin to grasp the evil of the whole. Some of the Jewish Christians in the Warsaw ghetto were recent converts; others were descended from ancestors who had become Christians generations before. All were Jewish under Nazi law. Professor Dembowski's account of how the Jewish Christians perceived themselves, and how they were perceived by others, will be of interest, not only to students of the Shoah, but to all who are interested in law, religion, culture, and the construction of identity. Indeed, this is a book for anyone who appreciates the complexity of the human condition and the resourcefulness of the human spirit." —Barry Sullivan, Fulbright Professor, University of Warsaw and Partner, Jenner & Block, Chicago
"This book is a profound testimony to the complexity of life under the most extreme circumstances. It is a deeply moving piece of writing." —Michael A. Signer, Abrams Professor of Jewish Thought and Culture and Director of the Notre Dame Holocaust Project, University of Notre Dame