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

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

One of the most important stories of World War II, already optioned by Steven Spielberg for a major motion picture: a spectacular, searing history that brings to light the extraordinary accomplishments of brave Jewish women who became resistance fighters—a group of unknown heroes whose exploits have never been chronicled in full, until now.

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.

As propulsive and thrilling as Hidden Figures, In the Garden of Beasts, Band of Brothers, and A Train in Winter, 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.

Powerful and inspiring, featuring twenty black-and-white photographs, The Light of Days is an unforgettable true tale of war, the fight for freedom, exceptional bravery, female friendship, and survival in the face of staggering odds.  


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Title:The Light of Days: The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler's Ghettos
ISBN:9780062874214
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    The Light of Days: The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler's Ghettos Reviews

  • Angela M

    4.5 stars rounded up.We have to keep reading these books so we don’t forget . I say that every time I read a work of historical fiction about the Holocaust or a memoir of someone who survived it. Ha...

  • Barbara

    For the most part, war histories have been written by men, and brave women have been given short shrift. Judy Batalion helps correct this by telling the stories of Jewish women in Poland who resisted ...

  • Jen

    The Light of Days is the first book I have encountered that tells the stories of heroic young Jewish women in Poland who fought the oppression and subsequent Holocaust of their people with fervor and ...

  • Faith

    I found the accounts of resistance efforts a little too scattered at the beginning of the book. The last third of the book was incredibly suspenseful and horrifyingly detailed. 4.5 stars...

  • Karen

    This book was a bit of an information dump. I'm really glad that she did this research and brought these young women's stories to light, but there were so many characters and events that it was hard t...

  • Elyse  Walters

    Audiobook... read by Mozhan Marno / synced with the ebook (own) From 1941 on, no Jews or anyone living in Poland were allowed to leave, the ghetto. “The Light of Days” is an unveiling of anonymous...

  • KC

    This story begins in 1939 Poland. World War II is underway. While German soldiers begin to overtake the country by torture, extermination, and relocation, teenager Renia Kukielkher enlists the help of...

  • Kati

    I won this on goodreads First reads sweepstakes.This book took me absolutely forever to read because it was so intense and heart-wrenching that I could only read 5 to 10 pages at a time. I knew that t...

  • Audrey Lawrence

    Awesome read and extremely well researched but a hard to read about all the deaths and suffering. Full review later. Definitely, a must read and I particularly enjoyed her write up of meeting survivor...

  • Stacey

    Excellent Book....