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The voice of the uprising in the Warsaw ghetto
on February 18, 2003
Leon Uris's 1961 novel about the uprising in the Warsaw ghetto is a timeless story of the Jewish struggle for survival against overpowering Nazi oppression. "Mila 18" presents a cast of fictional characters who appear in historical places and events of occupied Poland during WWII. Historical figures -- Hitler, Himmler, Eichmann -- are referenced frequently, but provide no dialogue in the novel. The book's title refers to the address of the Jewish resistance headquarters, and the place of much of the action and confrontation in the latter half of the story.
Like other Uris novels, "Mila 18" takes some energy to plow through. Given the gravity of the subject, it might be among the most difficult of his books to read. But the effort is well worthwhile. You'll not only be rewarded with powerful storytelling, but you'll also be awakened to one of the great struggles that occurred during the dark years of the 20th century. And Leon Uris will probably be remembered as one of the most important voices of this struggle.