The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler’s Ghettos: Author Judy Batalion in conversation with Ohio State Eminent Scholar Robert Holub!

Wednesday, April 14, 2021 - 7:00pm

One of the most important stories of World War II and already optioned by Steven Spielberg for a major motion picture, The Light of Days by Judy Batalion is a spectacular, searing history that brings to light the extraordinary accomplishments of brave Jewish women who became resistance fighters—a group of unknown heroes whose exploits have never been chronicled in full, until now. Author Judy Batalion will be in conversation with Robert Holub, Ohio Eminent Scholar and Chair of Germanic Languages and Literatures at The Ohio State University.

Jewish Columbus, Jewish Community Center of Greater Columbus, and Ohio State’s Melton Center for Jewish Studies are Gramercy’s Community Partners for this exclusive program. 

Registration is on Eventbrite where you will receive login information and full instructions close to the event. A general admission ticket to access the event is $5; a ticket that includes The Light of Days waives the admission fee and is $31. Registration closes at 5:00 pm on the day of the event.

As propulsive and thrilling as Hidden Figures, In the Garden of Beasts, Band of Brothers, and A Train in Winter, The Light of Days at last tells the true story of these incredible women whose courageous yet little-known feats have been eclipsed by time. Judy Batalion—the granddaughter of Polish Holocaust survivors—takes us back to 1939 and introduces us to Renia Kukielka, a weapons smuggler and messenger who risked death traveling across occupied Poland on foot and by train. Joining Renia are other women who served as couriers, armed fighters, intelligence agents, and saboteurs, all who put their lives in mortal danger to carry out their missions. Batalion follows these women through the savage destruction of the ghettos, arrest and internment in Gestapo prisons and concentration camps, and for a lucky few—like Renia, who orchestrated her own audacious escape from a brutal Nazi jail—into the late 20th century and beyond.

Powerful and inspiring, featuring twenty black-and-white photographs, The Light of Days is an unforgettable true tale of war, the fight for freedom, exceptional bravery, female friendship, and survival in the face of staggering odds.  

Judy Batalion is the author of White Walls: A Memoir About Motherhood, Daughterhood and the Mess in Between. Her essays have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the ForwardVogue, and many other publications. Judy has a BA in the History of Science from Harvard, and a PhD in the History of Art from the Courtauld Institute, University of London, and has worked as a museum curator and university lecturer. Born in Montreal, where she grew up speaking English, French, Hebrew, and Yiddish, she now lives in New York with her husband and three children.

Robert C. Holub is Ohio Eminent Scholar and Chair of Germanic Languages and Literatures at The Ohio State University. Previously, he was Chancellor of the Amherst campus of the University of Massachusetts and Provost at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Dr. Holub received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1979 and taught in the German Department at the University of California, Berkeley from 1979 until 2006.