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

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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.  


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

    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 ...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Morgan

    What I expected was the story of these amazing, courageous, brave women. I was disappointed.The author obviously did a great deal of research and she seems to have incorporated every bit of informatio...

  • Elizabeth Schroeder

    [Thank you to William Morrow/HarperCollins for the free Advance Reader's Edition]I am a strong believer in reading any and everything documenting the Holocaust. As we move farther away from the years ...

  • 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...

  • Jessica Senn

    I'm struggling on what to say about this book. This was a magnificent book that was very well researched. It told a story that NEEDS to be told that has been overlooked by historians or simply not sha...