Thursday, January 15, 2009


So about the time word of the upcoming movie Defiance got out I randomly rented a book at the library. Its title is " The Bielski Brothers : The True Story of Three Men Who Defied the Nazis, Saved 1,200 Jews and Built a Village in the Forest" by Peter Duffy. Within a day of reading it I realized that it had to be the story that Defiance was based after. As this really intrigued me, I read the book as fast as is possible with a boyfriend and job. Today when I read "Defiance offers vision of strength amid horror" I confirmed my suspension.

The story is about 3 brothers, each just a young man, who not only witness the death of their parents and of a few of their siblings, but they went on to save thousands of Jews by hiding them in the woods. From a review on Facebook (sorry ill find a better source next time) it states "They fought back, waging a guerrilla war of wits and cunning against both the Nazis and the pro-Nazi sympathizers." They did this all from a camp that they build, and rebuilt many times, in the woods. "As more and more Jews arrived each day, a robust community began to emerge, a "Jerusalem in the woods." They slept in camouflaged dugouts built into the ground. Lovers met, were married, and conceived children. The community boasted a synagogue, a bathhouse, a theater, and cobblers so skilled that Russian officers would wait in line to have their boots reshod." They did not leave the woods for two and half years, when the Germans were on retreat.

Sadly, the movie is ratred "R" for violence as can be expected so while many would prefer to watch the movie, rather then read the book, the book is worth reading for those who dont watch "R" movies. The book leads the reader through every emotion including grief, terror, joy, and anticipation. You start to trust and respect the 3 brothers for what they do, even if its causiously. You feel the typical feeling of disgust and revulsion with the Germans and constantly pray that the Russians are better. And the whole time you are praying the events could never happen again and that if they do you could be as strong as these brothers. Hopefully Liev Schreiber is right when he says, "But I also think that it is in our DNA as human beings ... that courage exists, that passion exists, that tenacity to love exists."

Perhaps that why I dream (quite literraly) about being a resistance worker. Perhaps I pray and hope that I can have that courage and that passion. Perhaps its a hope that if the time comes I will stand up and I help not only myself but thousands of others if needs be.

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