Christians in the Warsaw Ghetto
An Epitaph for the Unremembered
Paperback | 9780268025731 | October 2005
Hardcover | 9780268025724 | October 2005
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.
Peter F. Dembowski is Distinguished Service Professor (Emeritus) in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at the University of Chicago. Born and raised in Warsaw, Poland, Dembowski was involved in the underground activities of the Polish Home Army and participated in the Polish uprising. He was twice a prisoner of the Germans—first at the infamous prison known as Pawiak, where comrades bribed corrupt Gestapo officials to win his freedom, and later at Stalag XB Sandbostel, where he remained until the prison was liberated by the British. Upon liberation, Dembowski joined the Polish Army in the West. For his war service, he was decorated twice with the Polish Cross of Valor and the Silver Service Cross with Swords.
“There were for a time three functioning Catholic parishes in the ghetto, and the author, a veteran of the Warsaw Uprising and long-time professor of literature at the University of Chicago, describes with care and insight the complicated relations between Jews and Christians caught up in the machinery of death. This is a dimension of the Holocaust that is little known. Thanks to Dembowski, these victims are no longer, or are not entirely, the 'unremembered.'” —First Things ~First Things