Abstract | Background | The Couriers | The Fate of Jewish Women in Occupied Poland | Living a Double Identity in Perilous Times | Courier Profiles: Lonka Kozibrodska, and Why Women Were the Couriers | Havka Folman | Frumka Plotnicka…"Die Mameh" | Sima | Gusta Davidson Draenger | Mala Zimetbaum | The Destruction of Crematorium Number Four | What Sustained Them? | Conclusion | Endnotes | Bibliography


The couriers proved that there were things much stronger than the terror of fascism: devotion to duty, ideals, and leaving a legacy that would be respected by future generations. They kept communication alive between Jewish communities and after the communities were destroyed, with survivors. They envisioned a future for the Jewish people instead of a Final Solution.

Without resources the couriers created resources. They resisted with wit and guile and various non-violent methods to achieve their goals. They left us something other than a military model of courage. From a pedagogic perspective, the couriers' saga showed what young people are capable of achieving with the right education and that they can attain an empowering sense of value in their communities.

The couriers shattered traditional barriers for women in the social and political spheres of the time. They invalidated the mythology that all Jews went passively, as hopeless victims to their deaths during the Holocaust. The couriers and their comrades in the ZOB proved that there was active Jewish resistance to the Final Solution and that women had a profound role within it.

During the Holocaust, chapters of resistance and valor were written. The couriers wrote many. As the Holocaust was an unprecedented event in history, the couriers' resourcefulness and achievements were equally unprecedented. As the Final Solution was an unparalleled act of evil, the couriers left a legacy of hope within the darkness, a positive affirmation of humanity at its altruistic best.

© Copyright Judy Cohen, 2002.
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