From left: Renia Kukiełka in Budapest, 1944. (Courtesy of Merav Waldman); Tosia Altman (Courtesy of Moreshet, Hashomer Hatzair Archives); Courier Hela Schüpper (left) and Akiva leader Shoshana Langer disguised as Christians on the Aryan side of Warsaw, June 26, 1943. (Courtesy of Ghetto Fighters’ House Museum, Photo Archive)
Gusta Davidson (left) and Minka Liebeskind at an Akiva summer camp, 1938. They both became members of the Krakow ghetto underground. (Courtesy of Ghetto Fighters’ House Museum, Photo Archive)

In 2007, author Judy Batalion happened upon a book housed at London’s British Library titled, “Freuen in di Ghettos.” Published in 1946 in New York, it was a collection (in Yiddish) of accounts of young Jewish women who had defied the Nazis through various acts of resistance.

Some were leaders of armed underground cells in the ghettos or fought with partisan groups. Others were couriers who smuggled weapons, information, and false identification documents between ghettos. Others who worked in Nazi offices stole intelligence right out from under their noses. And there were some who assassinated Nazi officials by boldly shooting them point-blank.

Batalion was previously familiar only with the famous Hannah Senesh, whom she had learned about at her Montreal Jewish day school. Senesh was a young Hungarian woman who immigrated to Palestine in 1939 but returned to Europe to fight for the Allies and was captured, tortured and executed. weiter