Nannies and Housemaids: Female Aid and the Family in Nazi Occupied Poland


Dissertation Fellowships in East European Studies


Department of History


This dissertation examines the pre-World War II patterns of cultural and socioeconomic interdependence and the evolution of wartime communities of shared responsibility among Catholic Poles and Polish Jews through the Jewish employer/ Polish Catholic domestic worker relationship to gain a better understanding of rescue, assistance, and survival efforts during the Holocaust. It argues that pre-war and gender attachments played a vital role in the organization of such efforts. By exploring the manner in which these complex employer/employee relationships formed networks that extended into both families and created a space within the domestic realm where very real, reciprocal relationships developed, it revises our current assessment of the sources of rescue and of inter-ethnic relationships.