The prevailing image of European Jews during the Holocaust is one of helpless victims. But in fact, many Jews struggled against the terrors of the Third Reich.
This is the riveting history of one such group: a forest community numbering more than 1,200 that carried out the largest armed rescue operation of Jews by Jews in World War II. Nechama Tec reconstructs the amazing details of how these men and women of all ages - hungry, largely unarmed, and exposed to harsh winter weather - managed not only to survive but to take on the dual role of fighters and rescuers. Under the guidance of their charismatic leader, Tuvia Bielski, they smuggled Jews out of heavily guarded ghettos, led retaliatory raids against Nazi collaborators, and offered protection to all Jewish fugitives who could find their way to them.
"One of the most elevating and inspiring stories in the chronicle of death and despair that is the Holocaust....an accomplished and startling work of Holocaust documentation." (
Los Angeles Times)"An exciting story of rescuers and fighters - a story that should have been documented years ago....Defiance will no doubt engender further interest in the subject of Jewish partisan activity." (
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