Codename: Zosha: A Woman Fighter Against the Nazis (World War 2 Memories) by Yehudit Kafri

Codename Zosha


I received this book at a discounted price in exchange for an honest review.


Amazon Description:

Her daring activity in the Red Orchestra and the heroic struggle in a Gestapo prison.

Zosha Poznanska was recruited into the Soviet spy network known as the Red Orchestra, which operated in Western Europe. It was on the eve of World Rar II and Zosha was part of the inner core of the network, a third of whose members were Jews. Apparently unaware of the Jews’ participation in the Red Orchestra, Hitler declared, “The Bolsheviks surpass us in one area alone: espionage!” and he commanded his counterspies to eradicate this network at all costs.

This book tells the story of Zosha through all the chapters of her short life: childhood, the Hashomer Hatzair youth movement in Poland, Eretz Israel and the PKP in the 1920s, Europe in the 1930s and the Red Orchestra. It tells her loves, her relationships with family and friends, her daring activity in the Red Orchestra and her heroic struggle in a Gestapo prison. The State of Israel posthumously awarded Zosha a medal of honor for fighting the Nazis.

Zosha Poznanska is an unsung Jewish heroine of World War II. Born in Kalisz Poland, she immigrated to Israel as a pioneer and for a brief time belonged to the group that founded Kibbutz Mishmar Ha’emek. Afterwards, she joined the Palestine Communist Party (Palestiner Kumunistishe Partie in Yiddish, abbreviated PKP), and from 1930 until her death she lived in France and Belgium.

˃˃˃ A prize for top literary achievement

The book is written as a biographical novel and relies on exhaustive research; all fictional passages are derived from and based on extensive documentation. It was awarded the 2004 prize for top literary achievement, by the Society of Authors, Composers and Music Publishers in Israel (ACUM).


This was an eye opening book to read. We start out by vaguely hearing of Zosha and the author piecing together who she is and finally coming up with her name.

The author visits where Zosha’s family lived and is taking a “tour” with one of the family friends. They learn of Zosha’s family and how she grew up. Zosha’s mother wasn’t around. She was admitted to a clinic for postpartum depression and never recovered from it. In those times, affection was not openly shown. No hugs. No kisses. Nothing.

We learn of Zosha being an excellent student. Two years before she is to complete school, the first world war breaks out. On the same day, August 1st in 1914, the Germans entered Kalisz and ravaged the town within a month. Thirty-three jews were killed in that time. The town is pretty much barren and people leave for three years before returning. At first, they didn’t know what happened to the Posnanski family but when the schools open three years later, the entire family is back.

All this is just some background information leading up to the interesting parts of the book. This book is enlightening and heartbreaking at the same time. Definitely worth a read for those readers of World War books.


439 pages

$3.99 on Kindle