Counterfeit Countess - Elizabeth White, Joanna Sliwa

Counterfeit Countess - Elizabeth White, Joanna Sliwa

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A fascinating biography of the incredible Janina (Pepi Spinner) Mehlberg, a German-Jewish mathematician who saved the lives of many inmates of the Majdanek concentration and extermination camp at Lublin in Poland during the Second World War - which she did by posing as a bogus Polish aristocrat named Countess Janina Suchodolska.

We are all too familiar with the stories of Jews who were tortured and killed in concentration camps throughout the Third Reich. But less is known about the persecution of Polish prisoners housed in Majdanek, a concentration and extermination camp on the outskirts of the city of Lublin in south-eastern Poland. The Counterfeit Countess tells this story through the lens of the efforts of one remarkable woman, herself a Jew, who passed as Polish aristocracy, became a lead official in a Polish relief organisation and an officer in the underground resistance movement known as the Polish Home Army. Using the false identity of Countess Janina Suchodolska, Josephine Janina Mehlberg persuaded the SS and other Nazi authorities to give her access to prisoners, bringing them soup, clothing, medicine and tending to their needs, and on many occasions having them freed from the camp. This is her story, based upon her own unpublished account.



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