Monday, February 27, 2023

Seven essential books about World War II women

Christopher C. Gorham holds degrees from the University of Michigan, Tufts University and Syracuse University College of Law. After practicing law for over a decade, for the last several years he has taught Modern American History at Westford Academy, outside Boston. His writing has appeared in the Washington Post, Literary Hub, and online publications.

The Confidante: The Untold Story of the Woman Who Helped Win WWII and Shape Modern America is his first book.

At Lit Hub Gorham tagged seven favorite books about World War II women, including:
The Light of Days: The Untold Story of the Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler’s Ghettos by Judy Batalion

At the bottom of a box of documents in the British Museum were dusty notebooks written in Yiddish. When Judy Batalion, the granddaughter of Polish Holocaust survivors, dusted them off she unearthed the long-lost stories of the brave Jewish women who conducted their own secret war against German soldiers from within Poland’s Jewish ghettos. In Krakow, Warsaw, and Będzin, these young women smuggled weapons, couriered coded messages, and lured flirting German soldiers to their deaths.

To do their work, some passed as Aryans, and others pretended to be Christian. Many of them, like Renia Kukielkher, were teenagers. All risked their lives. The book’s descriptions of Nazi sadism, often victimizing women and children, are difficult to read, but it makes the resourcefulness and courageousness of the “ghetto girls” all the more admirable.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue