Length: 576 pages
Audiobook Length: 14 hours and 22 minutes
First Published: 2021
I received a complimentary copy of this book from William Morrow through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
The untold story of a group of Jewish women in Poland who became Resistance Fighters during World War II. In the Jewish ghettos, the Jewish women transformed their youth groups into the ultimate freedom fighters – bribing the Gestapo, flirting with soldiers, and bombing train depots.
Judy Batalion’s well-researched work does an excellent job showing the complicated nature of life in the Jewish ghettos during the war. However, her research is also her downfall. The book is extremely informative but Batalion fails to give you a compelling narrative to draw you in. A quarter of the way through, I found myself dreading picking it up, and with over 400 pages to go, I finally just threw in the towel. I think I’ll enjoy it more once the story is narrowed down for Steven Spielberg’s upcoming film adaptation.
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.