In the Lion's Den: The Life of Oswald Rufeisen

Nechama Tec, Author
Nechama Tec, Author Oxford University Press $50 (300p) ISBN 978-0-19-503905-4
Reviewed on: 03/31/1990
Release date: 04/01/1990
Rufeisen's story is extraordinary, especially as recreated by Tec ( Dry Tears ). A Polish Jew imprisoned by the Nazis at age 18, he escaped and passed as a Catholic. Wearing a Nazi uniform as assistant to the German police chief in the Russian town of Mir, he aided Jews and non-Jews in evading the captors. He warned Mir's ghetto of its impending liquidation, gave its residents arms and helped 300 Jews escape. His deception discovered, Rufeisen fled to a convent and converted to Christianity; in 1943 he joined a Russian partisan brigade. After the war, he became a Carmelite monk, later a secular priest. Emigrating to Israel in 1962, Rufeisen, as Father Daniel, now leads the Jewish Christian Church. (Feb.)