The Jewish Partisans
“No person should succumb to brutality without putting up resistance — individually it can save one’s life, en masse it can change the course of history."
Deep within the forests of World War II Poland, Lithuania, Belarus, and the Ukraine, more than 25,000 Jews fought back against the Nazis and their collaborators. Many of these Jewish partisans had witnessed the murders of their families and friends before escaping into the forest. Often based in mere holes in the ground and armed with whatever weapons they could build, trade or steal, Jewish men and women organized and fought, against the better-trained and better-equipped war machine that Hitler was rolling across Eastern Europe. The Jewish Partisans executed tactical missions including blowing up trains, bridges, police stations, and telegraph lines. They carried out dangerous assignments, whenever possible carrying two grenades, one for their target and one for themselves in case of capture. By 1944, Jewish Partisan vigilance had made the forests so dangerous that Nazi soldiers were afraid to enter.