I should begin by saying I read this book because I recently rewatched the movie Defiance about the Bielskis and the Jews who hid in the forest This was a book I went into expecting to love it and rave about it afterward I ended up being both fascinated, disappointed, and ultimately let down The fascination came from wanting to learn about the formation, the every day struggle for survival, and the ins and outs of the Forest Jews and how they survived the war, evading their enemies The structure of the Bielski Otriad was quite interesting, from the movie it appeared to be a bit socialistic in structure, and while there were elements of such, ultimately there was a social structure that was not all men are equal, although all were equal to join the group and none were ever turned away How they bartered with other Otriads, produced various workshops, and made a lot of their own resources was of particular interest to me Who Tuvia, Zus, and Asael were in the book gave, predictably, much information on who they were, where they came from, how they conducted themselves during the war, and a small peak at who they were after the war.Disappoints and let downs were as following the breakdown of the moral culture Here is this book about people who valued life enough to risk all to save it, and yet there was a normalcy of murdering unborn babies because of fear of having a baby during the war and living in the forest To say they valued life the most out of any around, to me this was depressing They didn t even value the littlest lives among them The promiscuity and lack of marital fidelity was much much pronounced in the real account, and surprisingly the hollywood rendition of this story painted a much MORE moral picture of Tuvia especially, but of the life in the forest The man with the most integrity in this book was Asael, who absolutely adored and loved his wife, and in order to spare her from pregnancy didn t even consummate his marriage with her Chaja , he slept with other women outside of the otriad How mortifying And of course, the trickiest thing of all is discerning what is legitimate war fare, and what was outright theft, taking food from peasants in order to survive Over all, it was an enlightening read upon the travesties that the Nazi s inflicted upon the Jews in Belorussia, the human will to survive at all costs, the development of a community, and the courage these men had to stand against all odds and protect their people.I wish I could like it , but too many things were disappointing from a moral standpoint Very interesting to compare to others who stood up to the Nazi s, such as Sophie Scholl, Corrie Ten Boom, etc who didn t compromise their morals. A different angle of Jews during World War II many of whom survived in the forests of Belarus thanks to the Bielski brothers and other partisans who risked their lives to rescue hundreds of Jews More than 1,200 Jews comprised a forest community surviving on scant food, clothes and supplies Their goal was to save Jews and not necessarily kill Germans if they didn t have to The heroism and bravery of these partisans are amazing The book didn t quite do justice to bringing alive these brave souls It felt dry and factual reading at times like a history book than being in the lives of the partisans experiencing their hardship, fear and drive to survive Still, an interesting account of a community fighting for survival and many of them succeeding a light in the otherwise darkness of Europe. The Author, A Holocaust Survivor, Tells Of The Largest Armed Rescue Of Jews By Jews During WWII, Describing An Extraordinary Hidden Forest Community Of Jews, Who Were Led By Peasant Turned Partisan Tuvia Bielski Winner Of The Christopher Award Halftones Line Drawings 16 11 Finally finished This was a difficult book to read It was too dense to really hold my attention and all those footnotes broke up the flow of the reading, making it even harder I had trouble taking in the information I was reading Whenever I took a break in order to sleep or because other books took precedence due to library due dates or simple lack of interest I found that when I went back to the book I couldn t remember what had been happening except in the vaguest way WWII was happening, the Nazis were massacring Jews and confining them to ghettos, the Bielskis were saving Jews and hiding them in the forest Other than those basic facts, facts which I knew already from other sources, I don t feel like I learned all that much about what the Bielskis did for those they saved What stuck in my head most was the revelation that Tuvia the oldest brother, played by Daniel Craig in the movie, pictured on the front cover of the edition I read wasn t perfect not that that s all that much of a revelation as real heroes are never perfect He had some serious faults that his wife had to turn a blind eye to in order to stay with him, faults that most of us these days couldn t imagine putting up with I certainly wouldn t, but maybe in a situation like what the Bielski otriad suffered through I would make a different decision The information was interesting, it s just a shame Tec couldn t have portrayed it in a way that made her book compelling. The book is a gripping account of the true story of the Bielski brothers who fled the German invasion during World War II and set up a village in the forest of Belorussia Their efforts and resourcefulness saved thousands of Jewish lives It is fascinating to learn how the group survived living off the land and stealing from nearby farmers and peasants But they not only survived they fought against the Nazis and they started a mission to save as many Jews from extermination as they could I viewed the movie first not realizing it was a book originally and I m glad I did because it was helpful in keeping the facts straight in the book Find Defiance the Bielski Partisan at the Westminster Public Library Check out the movie Defiance the Bielski Partisan at the Westminster Public Library This reminds me of The long walk the true story of a trek to freedom by Slavomir Rawicz.Find The Long Walk the true story of a trek to freedom at the Westminster Public Library A Critically Important Chronicle of True HeroesThe passivity of the Jews during the Holocaust is a hotly debated topic why are the Jews of World War II Europe so often portrayed as being passive, even being accessories to their own extermination Much of this argument can be put to rest in reading the about underground dairies of Emmanuel Ringelblum the Onyeg Shabbat , the lively intellectual and artistic achievements at Terezin and elsewhere, the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, and the partisans, freedom fighters hiding in remote forests offering shelter to escaping Jews and fighting Nazi Einzatzgruppen passing through Here, Nechama Tec, herself a hidden child during the Holocaust, describes the heroic rescue attempts by one of the larger partisan groups, one organized by the Bielski brothers in the forests of Belorussia, a group that would grow to comprise some 1,200 men, women, and children The book covers events leading to the Nazi occupation of Eastern Europe, the Russian occupation of Belorussia under Stalin, the 1939 German invasion, the organization of the Bielski brothers, Ghetto escapes a crime under the Nazis punishable by immediate death by shooting or hanging , the network of Partisan groups, the alternation of rescue and resistance, using one s wits and knowledge of local geography to elude the enemy, the forest community of the partisan group, the fate of women, and issues of self preservation Nechama Tec is a reknowned and respected Holocaust scholar, having written her memoir, Dry Tears Story of a Lost Childhood, along with such important works as Every Day Lasts a Year A Jewish Family s Correspondence from Poland, Resilience and Courage Women, Men, and the Holocaust, When Light Pierced the Darkness Christian Rescue of Jews in Nazi Occupied Poland, In the Lion s Den The Life of Oswald Rufiesen, and a host of essays and articles This book is at the top of the Recommended Reading list of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum Web site More than anything, this is a story of desperate hope, never lost, in the most desperate times. I was excited to read this book because the introduction said it wasn t a book based on the movie The movie was based on this book But after four chapters I finally had to stop it was so dry This isn t a novel at all I thought it was going to be a novel because on the back it says based on the extraordinary true story It was like reading a documentary The style of the book was really choppy with stories and then quotes I was really disappointed because a novel based on these events even if it used the direct quotes Tec received in her research would be really interesting and intriguing In an age when the term hero has been so overused as to become meaningless, the Bielskis remind us that real heroism is not the stuf of comic books Raather, it is a set of deciions, sometimes impulsice, often made b simple men of whom notheing of the sort could ever have been expected Their story is not simply one of courage or fortitude in the face of adversity it includes any number of daunting moral decisions wherther to seek vengencance or to rescue, how to re create a sense of community among those who have lost everything, how to maintain hope when all seems forsaken Edward Zwick movie producer Defiance paints a very good picture of what life as a partisan was like Tec presents the life warts and all, even presenting detail about how the locals felt about the partisans At one level the book fails Tec seems to be trying to paint a picture of partisan life and write a biography of Tuvia Bielski, as a biography the book fails The reader never really gets a sense of knowing any of the Bielski brothers The only person that readers seems to know is Chaja Bielski, possibly because of the inteviews Despite this, the book is very good. There are two books about the Bielski partisan group that I know of the other is Peter Duffy s The Bielski Brothers Both books were good but I found Tec s to be the better of the two Her writing gave a better sense of what daily life was like in the Bielski camp, possibly because she herself was a hidden child Holocaust survivor Tec was also able to interview Zus and Tuvia Bielski before their deaths, whereas Duffy didn t start writing his book until the brothers excepting Aron, the youngest, who was only a child during World War II were all dead.The story is a fascinating one which deserves to be better known The Bielski brothers are the closest thing to real life Robin Hoods that I know of, and there ought to be a movie about them Both books are worth reading but if you can only get one, get Defiance. I decided to read Defiance because last year I saw the film version of it and I enjoyed the film even though it was sad and found the film very interesting So I finally brought a copy of the book and read it I have decided to put this book into the A book based on a true story category on the bingo board, as this book is based on a true story This book wasn t quite what I had expected it to be I expected it to be of a story about what had happened in The Bielski otraid and the experiences of the Jewish people in it This book was about what happened in The Bielski otraid and the experiences of the Jewish people in it but it was written in facts and had extracts from the interviews that the author had had with the survivors of the Bielski otraid, these facts an interviews told the story This book was not what I had expected but I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed this book despite the horrific stories it told I found this category interesting, I liked this category and I will continue to read that will fit into this category in the future One of my favourite quotes from this book is Whatever feelings of revenge he had, these took a back seat to save lives Refusing to become a victim, rejecting the role of avenger, Tuvia Bielski concentrated on gathering Jewish Fugitives and protecting their lives Tuvia was the commander of the Bielski otraid This is one of my favourite quotes because I think it shows what a good leader Tuvia was Tuvia was in a position where he could refuse to take on Jewish people who he didn t like or who he thought would become a burden, but he didn t He would take on any Jewish people, it didn t matter if they were old, sick or if he didn t get along with them, he wanted to save the lives of Jewish people, any Jewish people.From this book I learnt that sometimes it isn t worth holding a grudge or bothering to try and get revenge The Nazis had done horrific things to Jewish people but they didn t use that as an excuse to go and kill and do horrific things back to the Nazis, they just moved on and got on with their lives.This book was set is Belorussia I thought this was an interesting setting because I did not know much about Belorussia which I believe is also known as Belarus I learnt a bit about the towns and the kinds of people who live there.
Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Defiance: The Bielski Partisans book, this is one of the most wanted Nechama Tec author readers around the world.
- Audio CD
- 11 pages
- Defiance: The Bielski Partisans
- Nechama Tec
- 06 December 2019 Nechama Tec