The Bielski Brothers: a Story of Survival

Topics: Bielski partisans, Tuvia Bielski, Defiance Pages: 3 (1064 words) Published: October 21, 2012
There are many forms of survival. There is living every day, surviving quietly with the rest of the world. There is personal survival, fighting in a way only you know how. And then there is survival in the face of the greatest adversity, survival against all odds. Survival as a group, when an even larger power is doing everything it can to keep you from surviving. This is the survival experienced by the troop of Jews detailed in The Bielski Brothers, the true story of how three brothers saved thousands by living in the forest. With this book, Peter Duffy tells the story of one of the greatest triumphs of Jews during the Holocaust in Nazi-occupied lands. The Bielski brothers’ group survived through a brutal genocide, even thrived in their forest camps, and were able to take a stand against their oppressors, fighting for their right to live. During this time in history, it was easy for most people to focus on themselves and their own personal survival. For most, it was every man for himself, but not for the Bielskis. They worked as hard as they could to save as many lives as possible. Saving Jews was their number one priority, even above killing Nazis and destroying supplies. For them, saving these Jews was an even more powerful way to get back at the Germans. Even when it was hard, when the winter was harsh and food supplies were low, the Bielskis never turned anyone away. Tuvia Bielski, the eldest brother, is quoted as saying, “I would rather save one old Jewish woman… than kill ten German soldiers” (Duffy, P. x). The Bielski Brothers shows that one of the keys to survival is having a strong leader. In the effort to save Jews from ghettos, heroes were found in unlikely places. The success of the Bielskis themselves was itself unprecedented, but they would not have saved so many without the help of others. One important hero to the Bielski Jews was Konstantin Koslovsky. Despite being a Gentile, he was dedicated to helping the escaping Jews in any way he...
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