- Expected 15 Apr 2021
'Original and compelling, an untold story of rare and captivating power' Philippe Sands
'A fascinating history about a little-known group who took on the Nazis . . . The individual tales of these courageous young women are remarkable' Independent
One of the most important untold stories of World War II, The Light of Days is a soaring landmark history that brings to light the extraordinary accomplishments of brave Jewish women who inspired Poland's Jewish youth groups to resist the Nazis.
Witnesses to the brutal murder of their families and the violent destruction of their communities, a cadre of Jewish women in Poland - some still in their teens - became the heart of a wide-ranging resistance network that fought the Nazis.
With courage, guile and nerves of steel, these 'ghetto girls' smuggled guns in loaves of bread and coded intelligence messages in their plaited hair. They helped build life-saving systems of underground bunkers and sustained thousands of Jews in safe hiding places. They bribed Gestapo guards with liquor, assassinated Nazis and sabotaged German supply lines.
The Light of Days at last reveals the real history of these incredible women whose courageous yet little-known feats have been eclipsed by time.
Memoirist Batalion (White Walls) delivers a remarkable portrait of young Jewish women who fought in the Polish resistance during WWII. Drawing from "dozens of women's memoirs" and "hundreds of testimonies," Batalion documents an astonishing array of guerilla activities, including rescue missions for Jewish children trapped in Polish ghettos, assassinations of Nazi soldiers, bombings of German train lines, jailbreaks, weapons smuggling, and espionage missions. The story of "Renia K.," a "savvy, middle-class girl" who served as a courier in the B \ndzin Ghetto, forms the backbone of the narrative, but Batalion highlights numerous other freedom fighters, including a network of young women who aided a prisoner revolt at the Auschwitz concentration camp, and provides a detailed account of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. She spares no details recounting the sexual violence and torture these women endured, and notes numerous reasons why their stories aren't better known, including male chauvinism, survivor's guilt, and the fact that the resistance movement's military successes were "relatively miniscule." Batalion allows her subjects to speak for themselves whenever possible, weaving a vast amount of research material into a cohesive and dramatic narrative. This poignant history pays vivid tribute to "the breadth and scope of female courage."