The Light of Days: The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler’s Ghettos

Judy Batalion. Morrow, $28.99 (560p) ISBN 978-0-06-287421-4
Memoirist Batalion (White Walls) delivers a remarkable portrait of young Jewish women who fought in the Polish resistance during WWII. Drawing from “dozens of women’s memoirs” and “hundreds of testimonies,” Batalion documents an astonishing array of guerilla activities, including rescue missions for Jewish children trapped in Polish ghettos, assassinations of Nazi soldiers, bombings of German train lines, jailbreaks, weapons smuggling, and espionage missions. The story of “Renia K.,” a “savvy, middle-class girl” who served as a courier in the Bę dzin Ghetto, forms the backbone of the narrative, but Batalion highlights numerous other freedom fighters, including a network of young women who aided a prisoner revolt at the Auschwitz concentration camp, and provides a detailed account of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. She spares no details recounting the sexual violence and torture these women endured, and notes numerous reasons why their stories aren’t better known, including male chauvinism, survivor’s guilt, and the fact that the resistance movement’s military successes were “relatively miniscule.” Batalion allows her subjects to speak for themselves whenever possible, weaving a vast amount of research material into a cohesive and dramatic narrative. This poignant history pays vivid tribute to “the breadth and scope of female courage.” (June)
Reviewed on : 03/09/2020
Release date: 06/01/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 352 pages - 978-0-06-287423-8
Paperback - 496 pages - 978-0-06-299987-0
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