Elaine Culbertson
Program Director



Vladka Meed, Warsaw Uprising Leader

Our beloved teacher, Vladka Meed ז"ל (born Feige Peltel Miedzyrzecki), a heroic member of the Warsaw Ghetto resistance and a dedicated eye-witness and teacher to thousands about the lives of those who perished in the Shoah, died at her daughter's home in Scottsdale, AZ, on November 21, 2012.

Vladka MeedVladka Meed was a member of the Jewish underground in the Warsaw Ghetto from its first days. Meed's book, On Both Sides of the Wall, recounts how she served in the resistance by passing as a Christian outside the Warsaw Ghetto. Because of her typically "Aryan" appearance, and fluency in Polish, she was not only able to smuggle weapons to the Jewish Fighting Organization inside the ghetto, but also to help Jewish children escape from the ghetto to be sheltered in Christian homes.

After the war, Vladka Meed continued to lecture on the Holocaust, and, together with her husband, Benjamin Meed ז"ל, was extremely active in Holocaust education and memorialization.

Tributes to Vladka Meed

Many of our alumni will remember Michael Berenbaum speaking to us both in Europe and at our alumni conference. His article on Vladka Meed was published in The Jewish Forward. It is reproduced here.

"Vladka Meed, courier for the Jewish resistance during WWII, dies at 90," The Washington Post. November 22, 2012.

"Vladka Meed, 90, weapons smuggler for Jewish resistance in Poland," The Boston Globe. November 24, 2012.

Vladka Meed was a Vice President of the Jewish Labor Committee and member of their Executive Committee. The Jewish Labor committee posted an article on Vladka on its website.

"Vladka Meed, who with her flawless Polish and Aryan good looks was able to smuggle pistols, gasoline for firebombs and even dynamite to the Jewish fighters inside the Warsaw Ghetto, and who after the war became an impassioned leader in the national effort to educate children about the Holocaust, died Wednesday in Phoenix. She was 90." The New York Times, November 26, 2012. It is reproduced here.

On March 20, 2009, Rochelle G. Saidel wrote an article on "Vladka Meed" for the Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia. It is reporduced here.

Vladka Meed in Her Own Words

Vladka MeedRealPlayer must be installed on your computer to see these testimonies.

Vladka describes the deportation of her mother and brother from the Warsaw ghetto to Treblinka.

Vladka describes her reaction to the burning of the Warsaw ghetto as she watched from a building outside the ghetto.