In 2015, I began to write a series of blog posts about a woman who smuggled dynamite into the Warsaw Ghetto. Her name was Vladka Meed. That turned into an 11-post series, which took me three years to research and write.
When it was written and posted, I still felt that, somehow, I wasn’t done with this work. I didn’t figure out how, or why, until my mother turned to me one day and said “You know, I don’t think that was a blog post series. I think that was the beginning of a manuscript.” She was right.
Vladka was one of a large cohort of courageous Jewish women who worked for the organized Jewish resistance in Warsaw before, during, and after the creation of the Warsaw Ghetto, the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, and the Ghetto’s demolition at the hands of the Nazis.
Women were crucial on every level of the resistance, from smuggling letters and literature and guns and people, to commanding the Uprising, to covertly recording the history of Warsaw’s Jewish community, even as the Nazis destroyed it.
Honestly, before I began looking into Vladka’s life and story and context, I hadn’t been aware of any of them. And I have a Master’s degree in Modern Jewish History with a specialization in Holocaust history. That’s just not okay.
These women’s names and deeds should be as widely known as Anne Frank’s, and that’s what my book will accomplish. The topic of women and the Holocaust is one I hold near and dear to my heart, and one I have been writing about for many years; long before I had the idea for this book. Four pieces of my writing which expand on these concepts may be found below:
This will not be an academic history, and it’s not going to be another chronological narrative of 1939-1945. This book is driven by female actors. Their words, their actions, and their thoughts move the narrative forward–not the decisions of Nazi bureaucrats or Russian soldiers. I strive to include in this book every Jewish woman in Warsaw who resisted or fought back in some way during these years and left behind a memory of it behind..
If you would like to learn more about my book or about how you can help please check this page. If you are interested in this project and would like to represent me, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.