Dimitri's Cross: The Life and Letters of St. Dimitri Klepinin, Martyred during the Holocaust

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Helene Arjakovsky-Klepinine
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By Helene Arjakovsky-Klepinine.

In February of 1943, Fr. Dimitri Klepinin, an Orthodox priest serving the Russian emigre community in occupied Paris, was arrested by the Nazis for issuing false baptismal certificates to Jews. One year later, he died in the concentration camp at Dora, near Buchenwald--a camp known as "the Man-Eater."

Father Dimitri, an associate of Mother Maria Skobtsova, was glorified by the Orthodox Church on January 16, 2004. In this volume, his daughter, born only five years before his arrest, lovingly tells the story of her father's life: his early search for faith and meaning in a life upended by revolution and exile; his decision to enter the priesthood; his devotion to his wife and children; his sacrificial service to his parish at the rue de Lourmel; and his heroic decision to do all within his power to save the Jews who came to him desperate for protection from the growing Nazi menace.

The final section of the book consists of Fr. Dimitri's letters to his wife from his initial confinement at Compiegne. In these letters we glimpse the humble, dauntless spirit of a man whose reliance on Christ was absolute and whose devotion to serving his fellowman did not waver, even to the grave.

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