In the Soviet Union
On June 22, 1941 Germany invaded the Soviet Union with its
and kill thousands of Jews aimlessly. The extermination of Jews
began and the deportation of some Jews to extermination camps also
began. With these activities came Jewish Resistance and Partisan
The partisanship is a kind of guerrilla warfare. The partisan fighter
is an irregular. Loosely, attached, poorly equipped, tactics unscheduled,
carry out forays and hit-or-miss assaults, harassing and impeding
movements of the invaders of the homeland. They are as old as wars
themselves. (Eckman 7)
In 1941, the submerged powers of the forces began to emerge. Slowly
but, surely they grew in depth and volume. Partisan, especially
the Maquis in France and the movement in Plan and Russia, were instrumental
in consuming much of the strength of the Nazis. The ones in the
Soviet Union were considered to be "incomparably vaster and
more decisive in effect". (Eckman 9)
Russian partisans started haphazardly with fugitive war prisoners,
civilian refugees, and escaped soldiers. By the middle months of
1942, the Russian forests had become full with large groups of partisans.
The general staff at Moscow often helped the partisans in the forests
with their fields of operation and extra soldiers. (Eckman10)
By 1943, the Soviet partisanship organizations were perfected, with
the partisans groups on national-territorial lines. The units were
called Partisan Confederations and had brigades, battalion, divisions,
details, echelons, platoons, and the like. The larger units were
in charge with Moscow by radio, courier, or by emissaries who infiltrated
the front or were dropped by parachute. Often women and children
played the role of the couriers and messengers between ghettoes,
camps in the forest, and Moscow headquarters.
In each partisan group there would be heroes and/or survivors who
would live on to tell the story of partisan warfare to the nations
and people to come.
P.Y. Braiko was one of these heroes from the Soviet Union. He was
a commander of a Partisan Battalion. He reports that the group would
engage in different activities to combat the advance of the German
troops and police. The partisans would blow up bridges, train tracks
and trains, and armored cars. Braiko led a battalion against the
Germans where the Germans chased the men to the village of Nova
Krassnitza between Chmigov and Avroch. The partisans were able to
take refuge in the forests there. (Eckman 9,10)
Y.Y. Melnik set up partisan groups in the Samsk area. He formed
the "Death to Fascism" party/group. Between October 1942,
and March 26, 1944 his unit covered more than 6,000 kilometers and
fought off German advancers.
Gregory Davidov-Koltunov was appointed leader of the Southern group
of the partisan company in Kizliar. They destroyed unpaved roads,
enemy communications lines on the railway tracks of Ordzhonikidza,
and fought the fabled "Cossaks" of the same village.
Women played an integral part in partisan warfare as well. In Minsk,
a woman named Natasha Lifshitz played the role of a danny ground
scout. Some women were used to distract the Gestapo men until more
partisans could come and help out. Along with a partisan leader,
Simon Gregoryevich, she helped to blow up a German military train,
wipe out a garrison, and blow up convoys (Eckman 59-61)
Ruth Kluger of Rumania, was the only female of a ten-member underground
cell that operated the line. She was fearless and resourceful. She
dealt with corrupt ship owners, drunk captains and crew, and often
unruly forces. She sacrificed her marriage and her love for the
cause of the Jewish armies. (Laska 10)
Rivka Yosselvska was a young mother from the village of Zagorodski
near Pinsk. She helped hide out her family. In the Eichmann trial
in Jerusalem, on May 8, 1961, Rivka bore witness about her experiences
in the many hideouts of the partisans. (Laska 265)
The partisan groups also had family camps. This meant mobility and
the ease of moving quickly with all of your loved ones nearby. Some
lived in underground tunnels and bunkers, coming out only at night.
The actual belonging to a camp enabled the Jews to exist and be
safe from the enemies who were ever on the lookout for weaponless,
defenseless, Jews. (Eckman 85)
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Laska, Vera. Women in the Resistance and in the Holocaust: The
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