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Judy Batalion, The Light of Days
May 10 @ 8:00 pm
Judy Batalion, The Light of Days: The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler’s Ghettos
In Conversation with Dr. Catherine M. Lewis, Exec. Director, Museum of History and Holocaust Education and Professor of History, Kennesaw State University
Batalion first learned of the “ghetto girls” and their achievements when she stumbled upon a Yiddish-language memoir in the British Library more than a decade ago. Delving deeply into myriad Jewish archives and making numerous research trips to Poland and Israel, she painstakingly uncovered their stories through long-overlooked memoirs as well as other surviving documents and personal interviews with their families. The rebellious acts Batalion discovered ran the gamut from spontaneous, simple acts of defiance to complex, planned initiatives. The ghetto girls tricked the Gestapo into carrying their luggage filled with contraband, hid revolvers in teddy bears, flung Molotov cocktails, and bombed German train lines. They flirted with Nazis; bought them off with wine, whiskey, and pastry; and then shot and killed them. They carried out espionage missions for the Red Army, organized a militant group of anti-Nazi Nazis, and were bearers of the truth about what was happening to the Jews. The incredible trove of epic yet intimate resistance stories Batalion collected in THE LIGHT OF DAYS reveals the ingenuity and tenacity of a handful of astonishingly brave young women, underscoring how their movement was larger and more organized than the annals of history have recorded—until now.
Batalion shares the hope and daring of these remarkable women, focusing on Renia Kukielka, a young Jewish woman who disguised herself as a Catholic girl and broke through ghetto borders with weapons and cash strapped to her torso. She smuggled sick youth, planned rescue operations, and masterminded her own escape from a Gestapo prison. She lived to 90, known by friends and family for her sense of humor, her love of fashion, and her kindness.
Cost: Free or $36 Book