Escape from the Pit: A Woman’s Resistance in Nazi-Occupied Poland, 1939–1943
Author: Renia Kukielka
At the end of 1944, while World War II was still raging, 19-year-old Renia Kukielka published her Hebrew language memoir about the Holocaust. The account may well be the first of its kind. In her powerful and raw story, Renia portrays life in the ghettos and her three years of wandering in disguise as a Polish Catholic trying to escape from the German onslaught. She also recounts how she served for almost a year as a courier between ghettos for the Zionist youth movement's underground cell in Bendzin—carrying weapons, money, and messages—until she was arrested by the Gestapo in 1943. She was tortured in a high-security prison, but after a daring escape she fled to British Mandate Palestine with other members of the resistance.
Following the book's initial publication in Hebrew in 1944, an unauthorized English-language edition was published in the United States in 1947. The present, expanded text includes a scholarly introduction, notes, and a historical afterword, which help explain and contextualize Kukielka's personal account.
This book is published by SUNY Press, in association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.