Daughters of the Resistance

Written by Judy Batalion
Review by Clare Lehovsky

This is an impressive work of research that follows the narrative of women fighters in the Jewish resistance. The author presents her findings in a story-like way, which brings readers in, so they fully appreciate what is happening to the female fighters. She takes one fighter, a courier name Renia Kukielka, and makes her the main protagonist, and weaves in the lives and stories of other Jewish women who fought on both the Jewish and Aryan sides. There were many ways in which these women resisted. If they did not look Jewish but more Aryan, for example, they concealed their identities and worked as couriers for the Jewish resistance, transporting money and forging documents to save lives. Some of these women were often caught and tortured as Poles because they had so successfully hidden their true selves. This book is not for the faint-hearted: tales of Nazi brutality are told, but the defiance of the Jewish people is woven into these tales, which should never be forgotten. It was also interesting to read how the resistance fighters incorporated or struggled with post-war Europe and Palestine, always thinking of their lost families and fellow fighters, or were determined to live a full life despite their traumas. The Light of Days is a crucial, poignant and fundamental read that should be celebrated as a fitting tribute to these brave women.