By Frank Blaichman (240 Pages)Publisher: Arcade Publishing, 2009
A harrowing, utterly moving memoir of a young Polish Jew who defied the mighty German war machine during World War II.
Frank Blaichman was sixteen years old when the war broke out. In his hometown in Poland, the killings began in 1942. His uncle, betrayed to the Gestapo by a Polish informant, was taken outside his home and shot. Blaichman's cousin was shot in her bed. Then came the roundups and deportations in nearby towns. During the first roundup in his town, Blaichman hid in a haystack. A few weeks later, rather than going to the ghetto where others were headed, he vowed not to give in. He would rather die fighting. So he set off for the forest to find the underground bunkers of Jews who had already escaped. Together they formed a partisan force dedicated to fighting the Germans and anyone who collaborated with them. Death stalked the lives of these brave soldiers without an army, but they persevered. As their numbers grew, they took up arms alongside Polish partisan units, and then in 1944 they fought German army battalions and air force units sent to destroy them. That battle forms one of the graphic highpoints of the memoir. So, too, does the sudden appearance of German troops and tanks moving westward, fleeing the advancing Red Army.
Introduction and maps by Sir Martin Gilbert. 32 black and white photos and 4 black and white maps.