The Counterfeit Countess: The Jewish Woman Who Rescued Thousands of Poles During the Holocaust Co-Authored by Elizabeth B. White

The Counterfeit Countess tells, for the first time, the astonishing story of Jewish mathematician Dr. Josephine Janina Mehlberg, who rescued some ten thousand Poles while posing as “Countess Janina Suchodolska” in the midst of the Holocaust in German-occupied Poland. Drawing on Mehlberg’s unpublished memoir and their prodigious research, professional historian and Holocaust expert Elizabeth White (former Research Director for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Center for the Prevention of Genocide, chief historian for the US Department of Justice & Office of Special Investigations) co-authored a riveting narrative that recounts Mehlberg’s extraordinary achievements within the context of the terror and suffering inflicted on Poland by its Nazi occupiers during World War II. Like The Light of Days, Schindler’s List, and Irena’s Children, but at the same time, utterly unique, The Counterfeit Countess is an unforgettable narrative about courage in the face of unspeakable cruelty with inspiration and strength within its pages. This conversation will be moderated by Michelle Lynn Kahn, assistant professor of modern European history at the University of Richmond. Her research situates post-1945 Germany in a transnational frame, focusing on migration, racism, far-right extremism, gender, and sexuality.

Monday, February 19th, 2024

Lunch at 11:45 • Speakers at 12:30 • Free • Book Signing to Follow

Reservations are a MUST!

Please RSVP by February 15th. To register for in-person or on zoom,

please email Shari Menlowe-Barck at or call 804-545-8611