Fighting Back: A Memoir of Jewish Resistance in World War II

Harold Werner, Author, Mark Werner, Editor, Martin Gilbert, Foreword by Columbia University Press $47 (253p) ISBN 978-0-231-07882-5
The Jewish partisan unit to which Werner, who died in 1989, belonged--some 400 men and women led by a man named Chiel Grynszpan--operated in the woods of eastern Poland during WW II. Grynszpan's guerrillas performed acts of sabotage against the Germans (blowing up trains, convoys, bridges) and rescued Jews from the Wlodawa ghetto. When the Germans retreated, the Jewish partisans executed Polish civilians who had betrayed Jews in hiding to the Germans during the occupation. The most awesome aspect of this memoir is its stark depiction of the ferocious Polish anti-Semitism before and during the war. Nor did it abate after the war. Werner, who emigrated to the U.S., learned that two of his brothers had been clubbed to death by villagers when they returned to their homes. Told in simple, direct, unemotional language, the book is a valuable document that preserves a record of successful Jewish resistance during the Holocaust. Photos. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/28/1992
Release date: 10/01/1992
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Paperback - 251 pages - 978-0-231-07883-2
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