The Girl Who Fought Back

Vladka Meed and the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

Coming April 2024. Pre-order now!

The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising is one of history’s most powerful acts of resistance. Here, author Joshua M. Greene (Signs of Survival) tells the true story of a young Jewish woman who was instrumental in the uprising as a smuggler of messages and weapons into and out of the Warsaw Ghetto.

Warsaw, Poland, 1940s: The Nazis are on the march, determined to wipe out the Jewish people of Europe. Teenage Vladka and her family are among the thousands of Jews forced to relocate behind the walls of the Warsaw Ghetto, a cramped, oppressive space full of starvation, suffering, and death.

When Vladka’s family is deported to concentration camps, Vladka joins up with other young people in the ghetto who are part of the Jewish underground: a group determined to fight back against the Nazis, no matter the cost.

Vladka’s role in the underground? To pass as a non-Jew, sneaking out of the ghetto to blend into Polish society while smuggling secret messages and weapons back over the ghetto wall. Every move she makes comes with the risk of being arrested or killed. But Vladka and her friends know that their missions are worth the danger—they are preparing for an uprising like no other, one that will challenge the Nazi war machine.

This astonishing true story of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, told through the lens of Holocaust survivor and educator Vladka Meed, introduces readers to a crucial piece of history while highlighting the persistence of bravery in the face of hate.



As the only hearing person in her family, Renee must guide her deaf parents and sister through the horrors of a Nazi invasion. Based on a true story.

In the Media

Articles & Interviews

“In 1944, ten-year-old Renee Hartman’s her fam­i­ly and com­mu­ni­ty are round­ed up and sent to Auschwitz; her one remain­ing rel­a­tive is her deaf younger sis­ter, Her­ta. This con­nec­tion becomes more pre­cious, her last link to nor­mal­i­ty and family.” Read the article.

Talk Radio Europe


"This is a compelling story, exploring the role that senses play when one is in danger as well as presenting the candid recollections of everyday details of two children navigating appalling conditions during wartime. An extraordinary tale of sisterhood and survival."



"Signs of Survival is a compelling story... should be required reading."

This Bliss Life


"Mem­oirs such as Renee’s under­score, as no oth­er doc­u­men­ta­tion can, the indi­vid­ual human expe­ri­ence of the Holo­caust. Sto­ries of the Holo­caust show the human spir­it and also the fail­ure of that spir­it; these nar­ra­tives show acts of hero­ism and also the unheroic acts Jew and oth­er vic­tims of the Nazis had to do just to stay alive."

Jewish Book Council


Chapter Excerpt

The Sound of Boots

RENEE: In 1943, German soldiers rounded up the Jews living in my city, Bratislava, and sent them to death camps to be killed. There would be eight to twelve soldiers marching together from house to house, knocking on doors, and yelling, “Get ready to leave! You have one hour!” I remember the stomping of their boots on the cobblestoned streets.

My parents, younger sister, and I lived in a fourth-floor apartment, and when I heard the sound of those boots, I ran to warn my family. Then we rushed into a room at the back of the apartment and hid. When the soldiers knocked on our door, we didn’t answer and stayed as quiet as possible.

I was ten years old then, and my sister was seven and a half. The responsibility was on me to warn everyone when the soldiers were coming because my sister and both my parents were deaf.

I was my family’s ears.



Watch this short History Minutes segment on Vladka.