Youth in Flames

Aliza Witis-Szomron

Youth in Flames

Jewish Historical Institue
Publication year

Aliza Witis-Shomron was born in Warsaw as Lisa Melamed into a wealthy merchant family, where Jewish tradition mixed with Polish culture. In September 1939, Lisa was 11 years old. In her diaries, which she kept throughout the war, she described the history of her family, struggling to survive in the occupied Warsaw Ghetto. She portrayed her mother saving children with the help of the Poles, good and sincere people. She described how she became a member of and her activity in the Hashomer Hatzair scouting organization, and then — in the Żydowska Organizacja Bojowa (Jewish Fighting Organization).

On 17th April, 1943, two days before the outbreak of the uprising, as requested by her organization, Liza left the ghetto and moved to a shelter. „Someone has to stay alive to tell our story, and you are too young to fight,” told her Ruth Hajman, the liaison of commander of the uprising, Mordechai Anielewicz. As a result of extraordinary series of „miracles” Lisa managed to stay alive. She lived to the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen camp.

This book contains both images of crime, as well as humanity in inhumane conditions. It is an expression of remembrance and homage paid to her comrades who died fighting. 

The book was published in the series: „WSPOMNIENIA, RELACJE, DZIENNIKI” [Memoirs, Accounts, Diaries].

On 6th May, 2013, at the JHI, took place a meeting with Aliza Witis-Szomron on the occasion of the publication of the Polish edition of her memoirs. Aliza Szomron was engaged in Haszomer Hacair’s and ŻOB’s activities. She left the ghetto two days before the outbreak of the uprising. The commanders decided that she was young and should survive to bear witness. The meeting with the author of „Youth in Flames” was a unique opportunity to talk to one of the few living witnesses and heroes of the dramatic events that took place 70 years ago.

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