Author: Jennifer A. Nielsen
Genre(s): Historical Fiction, YA
For: Book Club
Chaya Lindner is a 16-year-old Jewish girl who lives in Poland during World War II. When her family is sent to the Krakow Ghetto, she is one of the first to be sent away by the Judenrat (Jewish Council). On her way to find her grandmother, she meets members of the Akiva Resistance and becomes a courier. As a courier, she smuggles information, food, and weapons into the ghettos, and sometimes helps smuggle people out so they can have a chance to live.
Even though Resistance centers around Chaya, who’s fictional, she encounters many historical figures who were part of the Akiva Resistance outside of Krakow and ZOB in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Through her fictional story, I witnessed several historical events showcasing the courage and bravery of the Jewish people during WWII.
What a powerful story it was! I loved learning about the true events that took place during WWII through this fictional story. I didn’t know about the couriers before I read Resistance and what they risked for their people. I also didn’t really know a lot about the resistance fighters within the ghettos. My knowledge of the Holocaust is more about people like Anne Frank, the non-Jewish people who hid Jews from the Nazis, and the horrible Concentration Camps and what happened there.
I thought Resistance did a great job at showing the Jews’ courage, as they suffered at the hands of the Germans and their own countrymen who turned against them, yet risked their lives to help each other. Many of the Jews knew that their resistance movements wouldn’t “win,” but it wasn’t about winning; the goal was to stand up to the Nazis and show the world that they wouldn’t be silenced. Because of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the Allies finally decided to stop turning a blind eye to what was happening to the Jews in Europe.
I’m glad I read Resistance. I’m glad I felt a very small percentage of the emotion of what those people sacrificed as they lived through those atrocities. May we never forget and never let it happen again to any people.