Teresa Prekerowa

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Teresa Prekerowa in 1995

Teresa Prekerowa, also Teresa Preker née Dobrska (30 December 1921 – 19 May 1998)[1] was a Polish historian and author of Konspiracyjna Rada Pomocy Żydom w Warszawie 1942-1945 (Żegota in Warsaw 1942-1945) published in 1982 during the communist military crackdown in the Polish People's Republic.


Prekerowa was born in Zapusty,[2] into the family of local landowners, and raised in rural settings. During World War II, they resided in German-occupied Warsaw. Following the Soviet takeover and later, during the darkest days of Stalinism in Poland she worked at Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN founded in 1951. In the 1970s she moved to Państwowy Instytut Wydawniczy specializing in communist literature, history, and philosophy. She completed her off-campus university studies in 1973 with a master's thesis about Żegota written on the advice of Władysław Bartoszewski who was her co-worker and a major supplier of reference material.[1] Following the publication of her (already expanded) book about Żegota in 1982, in 1985 she received the title of Polish Righteous Among the Nations;[3] Prekerowa wrote that during World War II she had run into a little girl on the street from the Warsaw Ghetto and brought her to a Catholic convent, nonetheless, she never told anybody about it including her own parents.[4]

Prekerowa wrote about the rescue of Jews by Poles during the Holocaust. She estimated that between 160,000 and 360,000 Poles assisted in hiding Jews, amounting to between 1% and 2.5% of the Polish population. She categorized them as "those who could offer help" in saving Jews directly.[5]

Following the collapse of the Soviet empire, in 1992 she published Zarys dziejów Żydów w Polsce w latach 1939-1945,[6] and in 1995 received the award from the Polish PEN Club. She died in Warsaw.[7] Notably, Prekerowa was never in Żegota;[7] nevertheless, her contribution to general knowledge about the Polish-Jewish relations in World War II from the Polish 'non-Jewish' perspective is considered substantial.[8][9]


  1. ^ a b Prof. Władysław Bartoszewski (1999). "Spotkanie poświęcone pamięci Teresy Prekerowej, zorganizowane 8 lutego 1999 w Sali Lelewelowskiej przez Towarzystwo Miłośników Historii" (PDF). IN MEMORIAM. Dzieje Najnowsze. 4 (Rocznik XXXI). 273 (1 / 12 in PDF). ISSN 0419-8824.
  2. ^ Special Collections (March 24, 1997). "USC Shoah Foundation Institute – testimony of Teresa Prekerowa". USHMM.
  3. ^ Teresa Prekerowa at yad Vashem website
  4. ^ Toby Axelrod (1999). Rescuers Defying the Nazis: Non-Jewish Teens Who Rescued Jews. Juvenile Nonfiction. The Rosen Publishing Group. pp. 22, 52. ISBN 0823928489 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ Teresa Prekerowa. "The Just and the Passive" in Antony Polonsky, editor, My Brother's Keeper?: Recent Polish Debates on the Holocaust. Routledge, 1989. Pages 72-74
  6. ^ Teresa Prekerowa (1992). Zarys dziejow Zydow w Polsce w latach 1939-1945. Wydawn. Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego. Polish Edition, Unknown Binding. ISBN 8323007896 – via Amazon.
  7. ^ a b Interview No. 25 (August 18, 2002). "Władysław Bartoszewski" (PDF). Transcript. USHMM. 58 / 96 in PDF.
  8. ^ Prof. Jerzy Robert Nowak (November 23, 2009). "Alarm dla Polski". CZĘŚĆ II: Jak pomóc Polsce. RODAKpress, Magazyn Internetowy. Book reviews. Archived from the original on March 21, 2012 – via Internet Archive.
  9. ^ Adam Michnik (January 17, 2015). "Dobrzy Polacy patrzą na getto [Komentarz Adama Michnika]". Gazeta Wyborcza.

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