Review Detail

The Light of Days
(Updated: April 19, 2021)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)  
 
5.0
Learning Value 
 
5.0
What worked: This is one gut-wrenching, powerful collection of stories of young Jewish women Resistance fighters in Hitler's Ghettos. While setting out to learn more about Hannah Senesh, one of the few female Resistance fighters in World War II, the author found a book at the bottom of a stack that was bound in worn blue fabric. When she opened it, she found almost two hundred sheets with tiny script in Yiddish. Later she would found the records of women who not only were courtiers but held amore active part during the war. These stories had been 'forgotten'. She wanted to share them.

Some of these stories include:

Renia Kukielka who helped turn youth groups into resistance cells. Many of these women were still teens. They held leadership roles. They were armed fighters, spies, and more.

Lonka, who 'passed' as Polish due to her fair coloring. She was able to help countless Jews during a time when they were singled out and killed.

Frumka Plotnicka who was a socialist Zionist, who rose through the leadership ranks of the movement.

The horrors that these women encountered at the hands of the Germans is mentioned. Through it all, they were courageous, strong, and refused to deny being Jewish. They fought back against the Nazis when they overtook the ghettos and killed their family and friends.

I also liked how the author addressed the issue of the 'why' behind the reason their stories might have been forgotten. One idea was that silence might have been a way for the survivors to cope because remembering the atrocities committed against them would have been too painful to revisit. But I strongly feel that their stories need to be told, especially as most of the survivors of this time are now dead. I agree with the quote, 'Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.' This book is important because it contains stories of these valiant women who fought against the injustices against their people.

Powerful, true stories of young Jewish women who were part of the Resistance movement during World War II. I strongly recommend this non-fiction book to be a part of school libraries and to be included in discussions of the Holocaust.
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