Although Reizia Cohen Klingberg had never been political, the Nazi invasion of Poland inspired her to risk her life as a freedom fighter. Klingberg worked as a teacher in the Bais Yaacov school in Tarnow, but when the Germans invaded in 1941, she and her family relocated to Koszyce, where she ran a small school for Jewish children. As she began hearing reports of deportations and disappearances, she returned to occupied Krakow in 1942 and joined the ghetto’s underground movement, serving as liason to one of the group’s leaders by virtue of her Aryan appearance, which allowed her more mobility. The group stole and smuggled weapons and engineered a Christmas Eve attack on German officers at cafes in downtown Krakow. Although the attack was successful, two members of the group betrayed the others, and they were all arrested, with Klingberg nearly executed on the spot for her part in the attack. She was sent first to Montelupich Prison and then to Auschwitz in January of 1943. Freed in 1945, she served as an interpreter for the Americans and British before making her way to Palestine in 1947, where she married and raised a family.
More on Reizia Cohen Klingberg
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Reizia Cohen Klingberg." (Viewed on July 23, 2019) <https://jwa.org/people/klingberg-reizia>.