Woman of Valor: A Story of Resistance, Leadership & Courage

Woman of Valor: A Story of Resistance, Leadership & Courage

by Marty Brounstein

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Overview

Woman of Valor is a remarkable and true story of bravery, compassion, and rescue during the Holocaust. Eta Chait, a young Jewish woman, lived with her parents and siblings in Lukow, Poland. In 1939, the country was invaded by Nazi Germany marking the start of World War Two. Under the Nazis’ brutal occupation, the Jews of Poland were rounded up, and segregated into ghettos. At first, they were able to work outside of these areas; within a short time, however, their movements were severely restricted and their food supplies limited. As Eta and her family found themselves crowded into one of these ghettos, they watched as their Jewish neighbors were pulled out of their homes, imprisoned, or summarily executed in the streets. Facing this oncoming brutality, Eta joined a resistance group within the ghetto to escape. After fleeing, she returned to help free the rest of her family with unexpected consequences. From there, Eta and her remaining family made their way into the Polish woods for safety.

From that moment, Eta’s mission was clear—she would do everything she could to defeat the Nazis and save as many Jews as possible. The dense Polish forest served as a relatively safe haven for Poles fleeing from the Germans. It also served as the base of operations for the organized resistance. Eta quickly joined an all-Jewish armed resistance unit, which was part of the Polish Partisan fighters made up of Jews and non-Jews. Through her cunning and bravery, she rose to become one of the leaders of an all-Jewish partisan unit. Led by Eta and others, this unit went on missions outside the forest. These units were armed and ready to engage in combat and defense activities against the Nazis and their collaborators. Because of their success, they became a top target of the Nazis.

To change from daughter into the role of a young soldier is no easy transition; however, this heroic evolution is at the heart of Eta Chait’s story. Woman of Valor follows her journey, from the horrors of the ghetto into the hardships of survival in the woods under the most extreme conditions. And then through her eyes as a fighter, we witness the struggles and fears of those who were trapped by the Holocaust. This is the moving story of a young woman who refused to give up—who chose to put her own life on the line in order to save the lives of others from certain death. Amidst the many tragic stories of the Holocaust, Eta’s tale serves to remind us of the good in people.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

11/09/2020

Historian Brounstein (The Righteous Few) recounts the life of Holocaust resister Eta Chait (1916–2008) in this eye-opening account. Twenty-three years old when Nazi forces invaded Poland, in 1939, Chait and her parents and siblings saw their neighborhood in Lukow turned into the town’s Jewish ghetto. Able to pass as a non-Jew, she smuggled stolen Nazi weapons and found work at a German employment agency, where she falsified records in order to save people from onerous work assignments. In 1943, Chait escaped the liquidation of the Lukow ghetto and fled into the forest, where she and her father, the only other family member to escape, joined an underground resistance group. Forging relationships with area farmers and villagers, the group bartered for supplies and found shelter for more than 100 Jews fleeing the Nazis. Chait, who became one of the group’s leaders, used false identity papers, her fluent Polish, and a crucifix given to her as a gift to move freely through the Polish countryside. Brounstein positions Chait’s story as representative of broader Jewish resistance during the Holocaust, which he argues is underrepresented in histories of WWII that tend to cast Jews as passive victims. Written in accessible if somewhat dry prose, this admiring biography spotlights a little-known story of resistance in the face of nearly insurmountable odds. (Jan.)

top book reviewer Grady Harp

"More than a history of a significant Jewish woman, this book is an excellent reminder of the horrors of the Holocaust – and the strength of the Jewish people."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780757005039
Publisher: Square One Publishers
Publication date: 01/15/2021
Pages: 226
Sales rank: 434,902
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.40(d)

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