The true story of 3 men who defied the Nazis, saved 1,200 Jews & built a village in the forest. By Peter Duffy (302 Pages)Publisher: HarperCollins, 2003
It is one of the most remarkable dramas of World War II - untold until now.
In 1941, three young men brothers, sons of a miller witnessed their parents and two other siblings being led away to their eventual murders. It was a grim scene that would, of course, be repeated endlessly throughout the war. What makes this particular story of interest is how the survivors responded. Instead of running or capitulating or giving in to despair, these brothers Tuvia, Zus, and Asael Bielski did something else entirely. They fought back, waging a guerrilla war of wits and cunning against both the Nazis and the pro-Nazi sympathizers. Along the way they saved well over a thousand Jewish lives.
Using their intimate knowledge of the dense forests surrounding the Belorussian towns of Novogrudek and Lida, the Bielskis evaded the nazis and established a hidden base camp, then set about convincing other Jews to join their ranks. When the Nazis began systematically eliminating the local Jewish populations more than ten thousand were killed in the first year of the Nazi occupation alone the Bielskis intensified their efforts, often sending fighting men into the ghettos to escort Jews to safety. A robust community began to emerge, a "Jerusalem in the woods." Couples were married, children were born. The community boasted a synagogue, a mikvah, a theater, and cobblers so skilled that Russian officers would wait in line to have their boots reshod.
The Bielski Brothers is a dramatic and heartfelt retelling of a story of the truest heroism, a historic testament to courage in the face of unspeakable adversity.