The warsaw ghetto

The defiance of the ‘ghetto girls’ who resisted the Nazis

‘Jewish Resistance in Poland: Women Trample Nazi Soldiers,’ ran a New York headline in late 1942. That autumn, the Nazi occupying forces in the ancient town of Lubliniec, in southern Poland, had forced the Jewish community to assemble in the square. As men, women, the elderly and children were ordered to strip, a dozen women suddenly attacked their persecutors, scratching, biting and hurling stones. Stunned by this unexpected defiance, the Nazi soldiers fled. The influence of such courageous acts of resistance was tremendous. Galvanised by largely left-wing youth activists and connected by mainly female couriers, Jewish defence groups were soon staging armed attacks and operations across occupied Poland. Judy Batalion’s