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

Morrow. Apr. 2021. 560p. ISBN 9780062874214. $28.99.. HIST
In April 1943, Nazi and local police forces entered an area known as the Warsaw Ghetto to deport and exterminate the remaining Jewish population of the city. The month-long uprising that followed, as well as other acts of both visible and hidden defiance that occurred in Poland and other parts of Europe throughout World War II, form the backdrop for this fascinating account of the women involved in these resistance movements. Members of well-organized, active Jewish youth groups, the women freedom fighters highlighted served as couriers, spies, saboteurs, and smugglers. Based on more than a decade of research, Batalion’s (White Walls) work presents a largely unacknowledged story of nearly unimaginable heroism in the face of horror. Utilizing memoirs, diaries, testimonies, and interviews of Holocaust survivors, the volume features complicated stories that have resonance and relevance. Of particular interest is Battalion’s discussion of not only her research and personal interest in the histories of the women and their families but also of the equally complex and nuanced meanings of female empowerment and resistance and what that means for succeeding generations.
VERDICT Recommended for readers of World War II history and women’s and Jewish studies. [See Prepub Alert, 12/2/19.]

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