„Zosia. From the Jezreel Valley to the Red Orchestra”

Zosia. From the Jezreel Valley to the Red Orchestra is the fruit of meticulous and detailed reconstruction of facts associated with stages of life of Zofia Poznańska.

Wide zosia ok adka

On the upcoming days, three meetings with Jehudit Kafri, the author of a book „Zosia. From the Jezreel Valley to the Red Orchestra,” will take place. „Zosia” was published at the end of last year by the Jewish Historical Institute. Media patrons of this publication include: „Newsweek. Historia”, „Mówią wieki”, Magazyn Literacki „Książki”, a historical portal „dzieje.pl” and a portal „Świeccy Żydzi”. The meetings will take place on: 22nd May in Warsaw (JHI, 6pm), 26th May in Kalisz (Villa Calisia, al. Wolności 4, 5pm), 28th May? in Kraków (Galicia Jewish Museum, ul. Dajwór 18, 5:30pm).

About the book

Zosia. From the Jezreel Valley to the Red Orchestra is the fruit of meticulous and detailed reconstruction of facts associated with stages of life of Zofia Poznańska. Her childhood and youth in family town of Kalisz become a background for presentation of life of Jewish adolescents from the circles of scout organization Hashomer Hatzair in the 1920s, and philosophical disputes and ideological choices of the time. On the other hand, the period after emigration to Palestine in 1927 is a raw description of early kibbutzim, confrontation of dreams of Eretz Israel with cruel reality of the Arab-Israeli conflict and ideological quandaries, moving many Reform Jewish adolescents towards communism and the Soviet Union. The next stage of life — Zosia’s underground activity in France and Belgium — is a fresco depicting pre-war and wartime reality of these countries and group of people active there, whose previous choices led to the establishment of „the Red Orchestra”, an anti-Nazi espionage network controlled by Moscow. The reality of „the Red Orchestra” is depicted in a manner far from monumental. Jehudit Kafri leads us through a series of coincidence, mistakes, negligence and unavoidable necessities, until the tragic end — a deadly clash of cryptographer Zosia with the most terrible enemy, Nazi Germany.

The characters of the story are flesh and blood people. The book talks as much about love, lust, jealousy, friendship, longing and dejection, as ideals and fighting. Jehudit Kafri makes no attempt to hide affection and admiration for his character, his personal attitude towards her. Anyway, he has a good reason to do so — beautiful Zosia Poznańska was the author’s father’s first, platonic love, a girl he had never forgotten. Thanks to this human aspect, „Zosia” is a wonderful gallery of fates and characters, which played such an important role in significant and tragic episodes of the 20th-century history.

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