The Warsaw Ghetto Museum invites you to join the online meeting with Judy Batalion, the author of the “New York Times” bestseller The Light of Days: The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler’s Ghettos. The meeting will take place on Wednesday, January 18, 2023 on Zoom under the following link: https://zoom.us/j/96998314363.
The writer will talk about the fascinating but forgotten female heroes of Jewish resistance during WWII. The starting point will be her bestselling book “The Light of Days: The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler’s Ghettos” published in 2021.
“The Light of Days”, a tale of war, the fight for freedom, exceptional bravery, female friendship, and survival in the face of staggering odds, became the “New York Times” bestseller and got the “National Jewish Book Award” and the “Canadian Jewish Literary Award”. It was translated into 22 languages and has been published in a young readers’ edition . “The Light of Days” is already optioned as a motion picture by Steven Spielberg for whom Judy Batalion is co-writing the screenplay.
Judy Batalion was born in Montreal, Canada. She is a granddaughter of Polish Holocaust survivors. She has a BA in History of Science in Harvard, and a PhD in the History of Art from the Courtauld Institute, University of London. She has worked as a museum curator, a university lecturer and an editor, and her essays have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Forward, Vogue, and many other publications. Judy has also experience as an actress and playwright. She currently lives in New York with her husband and three children.
Judy Batalion debuted as a writer in 2016. Her essays about difficult family relations and generational transmission of trauma were published in a book „White Walls: A Memoir About Motherhood, Daughterhood, and the Mess in Between”.
Her second book, „The Light of Days”, is the result of scientific research about heroic Jewish women conducted by the author in the British Library. During her research, Judy accidently came across a Yiddish book titled „Freuen in di Ghettos” (Women in Ghettos). This thriller about „the ghetto girls” became a direct inspiration for “The Light of Days”.
This non-fiction book brings to light the extraordinary accomplishments of brave Jewish women who became resistance fighters in Poland during WWII. Witnesses to the brutal murder of their families and neighbors and the violent destruction of their communities, a cadre of Jewish women in Poland—some still in 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 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 nursed the sick, taught children, and hid families. Many of them ended up in Gestapo torture rooms concentration camps, only a few survived the hell of WWII.
The moderator of the meeting will be Masha Makarova from the Warsaw Ghetto Museum Educational Department. The meeting will be held in English. Participation in the event is free.
The meeting with Judy Batalion will open the series of WGM webinars dedicated to the 80th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.