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 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 beof 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 readthat 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. The Prevailing Image Of European Jews During The Holocaust Years Is One Of Helpless Victims Under A Death Sentence, Unable To Fight Consignment To The Ghettos, To The Camps, And To The Gas Chambers In Fact, Many Jews Struggled Alone Or With Others Against The Terrors Of The Third Reich, Risking Their Lives Against Overwhelming Odds For The Slimmest Chance Of Survival, Or A Mere Glimpse Of Freedom In Defiance, Nechama Tec Offers A Riveting History Of One Such Group, A Forest Community In Western Belorussia That Would Number Than , Jews ByThe Largest Armed Rescue Operation Of Jews By Jews In World War II Describing The Entire Partisan Movement In The Region, Tec Shows That While Most Forest Fighters In Belorussia Were Rifle Carrying Young Men, The Members Of This Extraordinary Community Included Both Men And Women, Some With Weapons But Mostly Unarmed, Ranging From Infants To The Elderly She Reconstructs For The First Time The Amazing Details Of How These Partisans And Their Families Hungry, Exposed To The Harsh Winter Weather, Always On The Lookout For German Patrols Managed Not Only To Survive, But To Offer Protection To All Jewish Fugitives Who Could Find Their Way To Them Driven By Courage Born Out Of Despair, They Dug Wells, Set Up Workshops To Repair Guns, Made Clothes, And Resoled Shoes, Supplied Services To Other Guerilla Units, And Even Established A Makeshift Hospital And School In The Forest Arguing That This Success Would Have Been Unthinkable Without The Vision Of One Man, Tec Offers Penetrating Insight Into The Group S Commander, Tuvia Bielski, And His Journey From His Life As The Son Of The Only Jewish Peasant Family In An Isolated Rural Village To His Emergence As A Leader Possessing The Charisma And Courage To Command Under All But Impossible Circumstances Tec Brings To Light The Untold Story Of Bielski S Struggle As A Partisan Who Lost His Parents, Wife, And Two Brothers To The Nazis, Yet Never Wavered In His Conviction That It Was Important To Save One Jew Than To Kill Twenty Germans She Shows How, Under Bielski S Guidance, The Partisans Smuggled Jews Out Of Heavily Guarded Ghettos, Scouted The Roads For Fugitives, And Led Retaliatory Raids Against Belorussian Peasants Who Collaborated With The Nazis Against Their Former Jewish Neighbors Refusing To Turn Away The Weak Or The Old For The Sake Of The Survival Of The Larger Group, Bielski Would Warn New Arrivals To The Forest, Life Is Difficult, We Are In Danger All The Time, But If We Perish, If We Die, We Die Like Human Beings A Scholar, A Writer, And Herself A Holocaust Survivor, Author Nechama Techas Devoted The Last Two Decades To Studying The Fate Of European Jewry, Recording Rare But Vital Examples Of Human Compassion, Resistance, Altruism And Heroism In The Face Of Overwhelming Horror And Despair Drawing On Wide Ranging Research And Never Before Published Interviews With Surviving Partisans Including Tuvia Bielski Himself Two Weeks Before His Death InShe Reconstructs Here The Poignant And Unforgettable Story Of Those Who Chose To Fight From IMDb Jewish brothers in Nazi occupied Eastern Europe escape into the Belarussian forests, where they join Russian resistance fighters, and endeavor to build a village, in order to protect themselves and about one thousand Jewish non combatants. 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 timeslike 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. 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 bookcompelling. 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. 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 Defiance just made it to the NY Times paperback best seller list even tho it came outthan 15 years ago The reason for its popularity now, of course, is that the film has been released and has created interest in the story and in Nechama Tec s book That s why I read it After seeing the film, I wanted to knowabout the Bielski brothers partisans and what really happened in the forest As I suspected, the film does not do justice to the book, or, evenimportant, to what actually happened But give the movie credit for stirring interest in these events.Tec s portrayal is of a group of Jews The Bielksi Partisans in Belorussiain WWII who lived in the forest, seeking to escape the German slaughters The story is truly inspiring and shows a different view than the one most often portrayed of helpless Jewish victims, unable, unwilling to fight the terrors of the Third Reich.Tec, a scholar and a Holocaust survivor herself, focuses on Tuvia Bielski, an unlikely leader who eventually leads 1200 Jews to safety The book tells the story of this truly amazing individual and describes how these Jews survived in the forest, how this group of refugees formed a community, how they lived, and how and why they were the most successful and largest group of partisans to make it to safety.It s an inspiring story, unevenly written and told and one that stillleft me wanting to knowthan Tec was able to portray But this story deserves to be heard Tuvia Bielski and his brothers deserve aprominent place in Jewish history than they have received Tuvia was never truly recognized for his heroic efforts other than by those he saved and the remainder of his life, in Israel and the US, was apparently sad and without the honors that should have been bestowed upon him Hopefully this story and Tuvia and his brothers will now receive the recognition they deserve. 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.
Nechama Tec n e Bawnik born 15 May 1931 is a Professor Emerita of Sociology at the University of Connecticut 1 She received her Ph.D in sociology at Columbia University, where she studied and worked with the sociologist Daniel Bell, and is a Holocaust scholar Her book When Light Pierced the Darkness 1986 and her memoir Dry Tears The Story of a Lost Childhood 1984 both received the
- 304 pages
- Defiance: The Bielski Partisans
- Nechama Tec
- 16 March 2019 Nechama Tec