Mise à jour du 14 mars 2018: droits cédés aux Arènes
An unforgettable story about feminism, female friendship and revolt
DAUGHTERS OF THE RESISTANCE:
Valor, Fury & the Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler’s Ghettos
by Judy Batalion
William Morrow, 2020
While doing research in the British Library, Batalion, a granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, discovered an extraordinary book. Written in Yiddish and published in 1946 though now long out of print, “Women in the Ghettos” contained the lost accounts of dozens of young Jewish women who fought in the resistance against the Nazis.
The “ghetto girls” paid off Gestapo guards, hid revolvers in loaves of bread and jars of marmalade, helped build systems of underground bunkers. They flirted with Nazis, bought them off with wine, whiskey and home cooking, and shot and killed them. They helped the sick and taught the kids, they bombed German train lines and blew up Vilna’s water supply. While Judy grew up surrounded by stories from the Holocaust, she’d never read stories like these. She’s not alone in that: the tale of Jewish women who fought the Nazis is virtually unknown and the role of women in the original “resistance” is still widely under reported. For Judy, and for me, the past few months have made the stories of these women feel all the more pressing.
There has been no book in the English language that brings together the incredible and integral stories of Jewish female resistance fighters. A propulsive narrative history in the vein of THE GIRLS OF ATOMIC CITY and A TRAIN IN WINTER, DAUGHTERS OF THE RESISTANCE will at last tell the true story of these incredible women. It follows a group of intimately bound resistance fighters in the harrowing year of 1943 as they prepare for insurgence and find themselves in ever graver danger. At its center is Renieh Kukelkohn, a smuggler and messenger from a small city in Poland who scurried by foot and by train across her war torn country at constant risk of death in service of defeating Hitler.
Judy Batalion is the author of WHITE WALLS: A MEMOIR ABOUT MOTHERHOOD, DAUGHTERHOOD AND THE MESS IN BETWEEN. She has written for the New York Times, Vogue, the Washington Post and many other publications. Prior to her writing career, she was an academic and is fluent in both Yiddish and Hebrew.