Daring to Resist: Three Women Face the Holocaust

A film by Martha Goell Lubell and Barbara Attie

1999 | 57 minutes | Color | DVD | Order No. 00653


Why would a young person choose resistance rather than submission during Hitler's reign of terror while her world was collapsing around her? In this gripping documentary, three Jewish women answer this question by recalling their lives as teenagers in occupied Holland, Hungary and Poland, when they refused to remain passive as the Nazis rounded up local Jewish populations. Defying her family's wishes, each girl found an unexpected way of fighting back -- Barbara Rodbell, as a ballet dancer shuttling Jews to safe houses and distributing resistance newspapers; Faye Schulman, as a photographer and partisan waging guerrilla war against the Germans; and Shulamit Lack, as a leader in an underground Zionist group smuggling Jews across the border. Enriched by home movies, archival footage, and previously unpublished photographs, the women's varied and vibrant stories provide a unique look at Jewish resistance to Nazism, a subject all too often consigned to history's footnotes.


"Women's roles during the Third Reich have received little attention in monographs and films; even less work has been done on the contributions women made to resistance under Nazism. [This] film will begin to fill in information on this much neglected subject."

Mary Johnson Facing History & Ourselves

"A powerful example for young people, especially young women, of how to take a stand and make a difference in their lives and those of others."

Joyce Apsel Anne Frank Center USA

"What really impressed me, in addition to the women's narratives and warm, lively manner, was the professionalism of the editing. This is such important work."

Claudia Koonz Department of History, Duke University

"Given the lack of focus in existing materials on what women were doing to resist, not just what women suffered under Nazi power, this video should receive wide reception and use in schools and synagogues and churches."

John C. Raines Department of Religion, Temple University


  • YALSA - Selected Video for Young Adults


Barbara Attie

The EMMY® nominated filmmakers Barbara Attie and Janet Goldwater have collaborated on award-winning documentaries for national and international broadcast, as well as wide-spread educational and advocacy use, since 1990. Attie and Goldwater’s work has been recognized with a prestigious Pew Fellowship in the Arts, a Leeway Transformation Award, and a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship in Media. Their previous documentaries on reproductive rights include Rosita (HBO Latin America, 2006) the story of a 9-year-old Nicaraguan girl whose rape and pregnancy resulted in a political and religious uproar that resonated across Latin America; Legal But Out of Reach (2000), about women whose personal struggles lead them to choose abortion, only to find that the lack of public funding made that choice inaccessible; and Motherless: A Legacy of Loss from Illegal Abortion (1992) about children orphaned when their mothers died after back-alley abortions before Roe. v. Wade. Additional independent documentaries produced and directed by Attie and Goldwater for national public television broadcast are the following: BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez (2015), a biography of the renowned African American poet and activist; Mrs. Goundo’s Daughter (2009), an ITVS co-production also supported by Sundance, about a Malian woman seeking asylum in the US to protect her daughter from female genital cutting; Maggie Growls (2003, ITVS co-production) a whimsical biography of Gray Panther founder Maggie Kuhn; and Landowska: Uncommon Visionary (1997), a biography of the celebrated harpsichordist Wanda Landowska.

Barbara Attie received an M.F.A. from Temple University, where she was named to the School of Communications and Theater Hall of Fame. Her documentary about teenage girls who joined the resistance movement during the Holocaust, Daring to Resist (with Martha Lubell), was broadcast nationally on PBS and named “one of the 10 best documentaries of 2000” by The Boston Globe. Attie is former board chair of the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women and served on the Board of Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Martha Goell Lubell

Produced and directed Daring to Resist with Barbara Attie. The film was broadcast nationally on PBS in 2000, 2001 and 2002 and screened at high schools, Holocaust organizations and film festivals including the Double Take (now Full Frame) International Documentary Festival at Duke University, the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival at Lincoln Center in New York, and Women in the Directors Chair Film Festival, Chicago. The film won first prize for Holocaust Biography, International Jewish Video Competition Berkeley, CA and Grand Prize Documentary, Atlantic City Film Festival. Lubell’s recent credits include Faces of the Holocaust and Crosstown.

She was associate producer for the Discovery Network's Emmy Award-winning series Teacher TV during 1992 and 1993. Lubell has produced two series of documentaries for WHYY Public Radio: Hard Times for Dreaming and When a Plant Closes. She was a researcher for CBS News and ABC News from 1970 until 1975 in New York, Paris and Japan. (09/09)


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