The Light of Days

The Light of Days

The Light of Days: The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler's Ghettos

Name - The Light of Days

Reviews - 4.6/5

Pages - 576

By - Judy Batalion


About Book The Light of Days


Also on the USA Today, Washington PostBoston GlobeGlobe and MailPublishers Weekly, and Indie bestseller lists.

{One of|Among|Certainly one of} {the most important|the most crucial|the main} stories of World War II, already optioned by Steven Spielberg for {a major|a significant|an important} {motion picture|film|movie}: a spectacular, searing history that brings to light the extraordinary accomplishments of brave Jewish women who became resistance fighters—{a group of|several|a small grouping of} unknown heroes whose exploits {have never|haven't|have not} been chronicled {in full|entirely|completely}, until now.

Witnesses to the brutal murder of {their families|their own families|their loved ones} and neighbors and the violent destruction {of their|of the|of these} communities, a cadre of Jewish {women in|ladies in|feamales in} Poland—some still {in their|within their|inside 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|reduced|paid down|repaid|paid} 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|Additionally they|In addition they} nursed the sick, taught children, and hid families.

{Yet the|The} exploits {of these|of those|of the} courageous resistance fighters have remained virtually unknown.

As propulsive and thrilling as Hidden Figures, In the Garden of Beasts, and Band of Brothers, The Light of Days {at last|finally|eventually} tells {the true|the real|the actual} story {of these|of those|of the} incredible women whose courageous yet little-known feats {have been|have now been|have already been} eclipsed by time. Judy Batalion—the granddaughter of Polish Holocaust survivors—takes us {back to|back once again to|back again 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|to transport|to hold} 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|her very own} audacious escape {from a|from the} brutal Nazi jail—{into the|in to the|to the} late 20th century and beyond.

Powerful and inspiring, featuring twenty black-and-white photographs, The Light of Days {is an|is definitely an|can be an} unforgettable true tale of war, the fight for freedom, exceptional bravery, female friendship, and survival in {the face|the facial skin|the face area} of staggering odds.  

 Editorial Reviews 

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 Bę dzin 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.” (June)

Publishers Weekly


The granddaughter of Polish Holocaust survivors, Batalion tells the little-known story of women Jewish Resistance fighters in Poland, who risked (and often suffered) brutal imprisonment and death as they bore arms, smuggled weapons, helped built underground bunkers, and seduced and shot German soldiers. At the center of Batalion's story is Renia Kukielka, a weapons smuggler and messenger who effected a remarkable escape from a Gestapo prison. Originally scheduled for June 2020; with a 200,000-copy first printing and optioned by Steven Spielberg.

Library Journal

About the Author

Judy Batalion is the New York Times bestselling author of the highly-acclaimed THE LIGHT OF DAYS: The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler’s Ghettos, published by William Morrow in April 2021. THE LIGHT OF DAYS has been published in a young readers’ edition, will be translated into nineteen languages, and has been optioned by Steven Spielberg for a major motion picture for which Judy is co-writing the screenplay. Judy is also the author of White Walls: A Memoir About Motherhood, Daughterhood and the Mess in Between, optioned by Warner Brothers, and her essays have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Forward, Vogue, and many other publications. Judy has a BA in the History of Science from Harvard, and a PhD in the History of Art from the Courtauld Institute, University of London, and has worked as a museum curator and university lecturer. Born in Montreal, where she grew up speaking English, French, Hebrew, and Yiddish, she lives in New York with her husband and three children.