The Women Who Fought Back

Why is it the positive news never seems to get mentioned? For example, everyone learns about the Holocaust, and I know there were extraordinarily brave people who risked their lives and saved many from the Holocaust, but I can never remember being told about organized Jewish resistance.

And yet there was. One such example is told in the book The Light of Days: The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler’s Ghettos by Judy Batalion (https://www.amazon.com/Light-Days-Resistance-Fighters-Hitlers-ebook/dp/B07Y8D58BR/ref=sr_1_1?).

To quote from the description on Amazon.com —

“Witnesses to the brutal murder of their families and neighbors and the violent destruction of their communities, a cadre of Jewish women in Poland—some still in their teens—helped transform the Jewish youth groups into resistance cells to fight the Nazis. With courage, guile, and nerves of steel, these “ghetto girls” paid off Gestapo guards, hid revolvers in loaves of bread and jars of marmalade, and helped build systems of underground bunkers. They flirted with German soldiers, bribed them with wine, whiskey, and home cooking, used their Aryan looks to seduce them, and shot and killed them. They bombed German train lines and blew up a town’s water supply. They also nursed the sick and taught children.

“Yet the exploits of these courageous resistance fighters have remained virtually unknown.

“…The Light of Days at last tells the true story of these incredible women whose courageous yet little-known feats have been eclipsed by time. Judy Batalion—the granddaughter of Polish Holocaust survivors—takes us back to 1939 and introduces us to Renia Kukielka, a weapons smuggler and messenger who risked death traveling across occupied Poland on foot and by train. Joining Renia are other women who served as couriers, armed fighters, intelligence agents, and saboteurs, all who put their lives in mortal danger to carry out their missions. Batalion follows these women through the savage destruction of the ghettos, arrest and internment in Gestapo prisons and concentration camps, and for a lucky few—like Renia, who orchestrated her own audacious escape from a brutal Nazi jail—into the late 20th century and beyond.”

I’ve always marveled at how much of history seldom sees the light of day. Here is another example.

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