Fugitives of the Forest: The Heroic Story of Jewish Resistance and Survival During the Second World War

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9781599214962: Fugitives of the Forest: The Heroic Story of Jewish Resistance and Survival During the Second World War

As the Second World War and the Nazi assault on Europe ended, some 25,000 Jews, entire families in some instances, walked out of the forests of Eastern Europe. For three years, these men, women and children had miraculously survived eluding Nazi hunts and Soviet, Polish, and Ukrainian partisans who often killed first and asked questions later. They had escaped from the Nazi ghettos and slave labor camps and formed secret partisan camps in the surrounding forests. The forest not only protected them, it also became their base for sabotage and resistance efforts against the Germans and their allies.

Based on numerous interviews with the survivors themselves, Fugitives of the Forest tells the harrowing and heroic story of those who resisted amid such perilous conditions. Among them:

  • The remarkable story of Tuvia Bielski and his rescue of more than 1,200 Jews from a certain death (subject of the major motion picture DEFIANCE, to be released December 2008)
  • The tragic resistance struggle of Dr. Yeheskel Atlas
  • The bravery and resourcefulness of Misha Gildenman
  • The tale of the Vilna Ghetto

Many of us will ask the troubling question: why did not more Jews resist? But the question should be: how, under the circumstances, was any resistance possible at all?

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From the Back Cover:

WINNER OF THE YAD VASHEM PRIZE FOR HOLOCAUST HISTORY IN CANADAPRAISE FOR FUGITIVES OF THE FOREST
[M]eticulously researched. . . . [A] must read for those who wonder about
organized Jewish resistance to the Holocaust.”
Globe and Mail
[This] book justifies itself historically and morally. Levine’s sober tone is,
after all, a retort to the livid obscenity of history.”
Toronto Star
Allan Levine has written an important book. . . . He tells the story of Jewish armed resistance in Eastern Europe very well. He weaves personal vignettes, often poignant, into his narrative. . . .[A] graphic and gripping account.”
Winnipeg Free Press
For those of us who participated in the events detailed in these pages, the book’s
significance lies in the author’s ability to chronicle our thoughts, our moods,
our objectives, our tragedies, and our sufferings, as well as our hopes,
 dreams, and victories.”
Peter Silverman, a former resistance fighter 
From Fugitives of the Forest We were always armed and had an understanding that if we were ambushed, we would fight until we were killed. If need be, we would shoot one another rather than be captured. It was inevitable that we would die but death would come on our terms.” Jack Sutin, Jewish partisan fighter

About the Author:

Allan Levine (born 1956) is a Canadian author from Winnipeg, Manitoba, known mainly for his award-winning nonfiction and historical mystery writing. As of 2004, Levine teaches history at St. John's-Ravenscourt School in Winnipeg, and is married with two children. He is the author of five books of nonfiction and three books of fiction.

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