Online History Course: Women and Resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto

Halina Aszkenazy-Engelhardt
Zdjęcie przedstawiające Żydówki z getta warszawskiego w kwietniu '43, pochodzi z raportu Jurgena Stroopa "Żydowska dzielnica mieszkaniowa w Warszawie już nie istnieje!", fot. Instytut Pamięci Narodowej

The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was one of the most famous acts of Jewish rebellion during the Holocaust. What was daily life like for women in the ghetto? What forms did their resistance take, and how did it reinforce or challenge gender roles? How are historians and activists today broadening our understanding of this critical moment in history? This spring, join the Jewish Women’s Archive and POLIN Museum for a special Online History Course focusing on women's lives and resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto.

  • 18 April - 16 May 2023
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  • Each session will be held online.
  • Participants will receive a link to each webinar prior the event.
  • Each session will be recorded and available at a later date for each registered participant.

Upcoming Dates:

April 18 (Tuesday), 12:00 PM EDT: Warsaw Ghetto Through Women’s Eyes, with Katarzyna Person.

Discover the history of the Warsaw ghetto from the perspective of women who lived and died there. This includes writers, students, vegetable sellers, and homemakers. Their experiences, choices, and fates make up a complex chapter in the history of the Holocaust.

Katarzyna Person is an assistant professor at the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw. She is the editor of the complete edition of the Ringelblum Archives, and author of several books.


April 25 (Tuesday), 12:00 PM EDT: Rachela Auerbach at the Frontline of the Struggle, with Karolina Szymaniak.

Polish-Yiddish writer Rachela Auerbach was a member of the underground Warsaw ghetto Ringelblum Archive. Learn about her work for Jewish Social Self-Help, her documentation efforts as a means of civil resistance, and her post-war works on the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

Karolina Szymaniak is an assistant professor at the University of Wrocław, and research fellow at the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw. Her edited collection of Auerbach’s ghetto writings received the 2016 Polityka History Award.


May 2 (Tuesday) 12:00 PM EDT: Women in the Communist Resistance Movement: The Story of Dorka Goldkorn and Anna Duracz, with Matylda Jonas-Kowalik.

The testimonies of Dorka Goldkorn and Anna Duracz are prominent sources among the scarce surviving documents that shed light on the lives of Jewish communists during the Holocaust. By examining the ideological similarities and biographical differences between them, we can gain insight into the challenges and destinies of women who were part of the communist groups in the resistance movement of the Warsaw Ghetto.

Matylda Jonas-Kowalik is a researcher and activist based in Uppsala, Sweden. Her research focuses on the feminist approaches to the history and historiography of the Holocaust. She is the author of "Free Tomorrow? Communists in the Resistance Movement in the Warsaw Ghetto" (2022).


May 9 (Tuesday), 12:00 PM EDT: The Interwar Roots of Military Resistance of Jewish Women in the Ghetto, with Katarzyna Czerwonogóra.

During the Nazi occupation of Europe, Jewish women took on new roles as military fighters. Explore the background of women in the resistance, including preparation in the Zionist movement, and new models of Jewish femininity that emerged in interwar Poland.

Katarzyna Czerwonogóra is a scholar of Jewish women who lives in Jerusalem and Warsaw. She studies local and international mobilization of Zionist women in Germany and Poland.


May 16 (Tuesday), 12:00 PM EDT: Herstories of Resistance, with Zuzanna Hertzberg.

Look at the women’s individual and collective resistance during the Shoah as a turning point of a long history of women revolt. How did Jewish women acquire skills to fight the oppression? How can their strategies be applied to the battles we fight today? How to bring the archive to the streets and give it new life?

Zuzanna Hertzberg is a Polish-Jewish interdisciplinary artist, activist, and researcher. She is interested in the interweaving of individual and collective memory, the restitution of minority heritage, and the marginalization of uncomfortable narratives.


The course is organized within the Global Education Outreach Program.

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This program was made possible thanks to Taube Philanthropies, the William K. Bowes, Jr. Foundation, and the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland.

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