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A matter of character. Women fighters from the Warsaw Ghetto (PL/EN)

01.07.2023 - 14:00 / Festival Tent, ul. Józefa 36, live: & Facebook Kraków - Miasto Literatury UNESCO

A matter of character. Women fighters from the Warsaw Ghetto (Wydawnictwo Czarne 2023) – this book is devoted primarily to heroines who so far have been known only by their first name, brief mentions in source texts or who appeared as companions in the fight of their male friends. There were younger and older girls among them. Those who were engaged in social or political activities even before the war, and those who were somehow forced by the situation during the war. Brave or timid, determined or hesitant. “It’s a matter of character,” says the son of one of them. Maybe.

Scraps of life stories and information scattered in archives, eyewitness accounts or publications related to the history of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising were like individual crumbs from which the complete story had to be compiled. This is the first such attempt in Poland, the first book in Poland, an introduction to recovering memories about women fighters from the Warsaw Ghetto.

Authors:  Kalina Błażejowska, Katarzyna Czerwonogóra, Agnieszka Dauksza, Patrycja Dołowy, Agnieszka Glińska, Hanka Grupińska, Agnieszka Haska, Natalia Judzińska, Magdalena Kozłowska, Joanna Ostrowska, Karolina Sulej, Anna Szyba, Karolina Szymaniak, Monika Tutak-Goll. With an introduction by Zuzanna Hertzberg. Coedited with POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews

Zuzanna Hertzberg and Patrycja Dołowy will talk about the book and discussion will be moderated by Paulina Małochleb.


Patrycja Dołowy (born 1978) – writer, multimedia artist, social activist, promoter of science and art. A doctor of natural sciences by education, a graduate of the University of Warsaw and the Academy of Artistic Photography of the Higher Schools of Photography in Wrocław. She manages the BioCentre for Scientific Education and lectures at the Faculty of Artes Liberales at the University of Warsaw. For years she has been working on the issues of identity and memory. Her work is based on oral history and testimonies. She has had over 60 exhibitions in Poland and abroad. She publishes her works and texts in the press, in art and cultural magazines. She is the author of I’ll Be Back When You’re Asleep. Interviews with Children of the Holocaust and Treasures. Seekers and Guardians of Jewish Memory, co-author of the books A City In the Eyes of Women (together with Justyna Biernacka), 25 Interviews for the 25th Anniversary, I won’t not Leave Them Behind (edited by Magdalena Kicińska and Monika Sznajderman), chapters in collective publications and plays, including Wanda (with Sylwia Chutnik), Hideout/Kryjówka, Dziady. Brest Fortress, Mothers, Hindele, Magician’s sister, Paulina (with Michelle Levy). Three-time scholarship holder of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, scholarship holder of Asylum Arts and Tarbut Fellowship, winner of awards, including the Karol Sabath Award for the best popular science text in the Polish press and distinctions at the Kontrapunkt theatre festival for the screenplay Hideout/Kryjówka

Zuzanna Hertzberg – Zuzanna Hertzberg is an interdisciplinary artist, artivist and researcher. Her artistic practice consists of painting, textiles and events in public space. She is the author of installations and collages using archival resources accompanied by oral performances. She is involved in individual and collective practices that counteract discrimination and violence against marginalized individuals and groups.

In 2018, she received a doctoral degree at the Faculty of Graphic Arts of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw (Spaces of ignorance, 2018).

She has participated in many exhibitions in Poland and abroad, e.g. in the Studio Gallery “Women fighters. Affective Archive” (2023) she presented a visual essay on the resistance of Jewish women from the late 19th century to the times of the People’s Republic of Poland. Her interdisciplinary art project “Women Volunteers of Freedom” about Jewish women in the International Brigades was presented as part of the exhibition “Independent. Women and national discourse” at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw (2018/19), at the exhibition “Difficult Pasts. Connected Worlds” at the Latvian National Museum in Riga (2020/21) and then at the National Art Gallery in Vilnius (2022).

A research-based art and activist project titled “Mechica. Individual and collective resistance of women during the Holocaust” was exhibited at POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw (2019), “Still Present!” 12th Biennale of Contemporary Art in Berlin (2022), and at the Centre for Jewish History in New York (2022/23).

At present she is continuing her research and implementing an art project about Jewish anarchists. Her works may be found in private and institutional collections. She is co-founder of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Block and a board member of the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute in Poland.

Paulina Małochleb – literary critic and researcher, author of the blog She hosts meetings with authors, critical workshops and blogging workshops. She wrote the book “Rewriting History. The January Uprising in the Polish Novel in the Perspective of Cultural Memory” and a number of scientific articles on contemporary Polish literature. Winner of the Prime Minister’s Award and Młoda Polska Scholarship of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage.

Patrycja Dołowy
Zuzanna Hertzberg
Paulina Małochleb