The Underground Army: Fighters of the Bialystok Ghetto

Haikah Grosman, Author Holocaust Library $18.95 (426p) ISBN 978-0-89604-053-3
The only surviving leader of the Bialystok ghetto fighters, Grossman, now an Israeli politician, composed this volume in the late 1940s (it was eventually published in Hebrew). She vividly and passionately recreates the day-to-day life she led as a partisan: how she passed as an Aryan and traveled throughout occupied Poland fomenting anti-Nazi activities; how she and her comrades found the strength to continue their efforts when there was no hope of victory; how the Jewish resistance, members of which sought ``an honorable death,'' clashed with the conservative Jewish leaders of the ghetto. She proudly points out the contribution of female partisans and documents the impressive range of underground efforts, from securing weapons to assembling faulty shoes for German soldiers that would disintegrate in the winter weather. The book loses momentum because of Grossman's polemics and the similar nature of many of the incidents she describes. Another problem is the disturbing number of typos in a work that seeks to add to the historical record. Nonetheless, this is a valuable text, telling the story of a little-known resistance group and paying tribute to the courage, inventiveness and stamina of the Bialystok ghetto fighters. Photos. (August)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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