The Bielski Brothers

The Bielski Brothers

The True Story of Three Men Who Defied the Nazis, Built a Village in the Forest, and Saved 1,200 Jews

By Peter Duffy

Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780060935535, 302pp.

Publication Date: June 2004


In 1941, three brothers witnessed their parents and two other siblingsbeing led away to their eventual murders. It was a grim scene that would, of course, be repeated endlessly throughout the war. Instead of running orgiving in to despair, these brothers -- Tuvia, Zus, and Asael Bielski -- foughtback, waging a guerrilla war of wits against the Nazis.

By using their intimate knowledge of the dense forests surrounding theBelarusan towns of Novogrudek and Lida, the Bielskis evaded the Nazis andestablished a hidden base camp, then set about convincing other Jews to jointheir ranks. As more and more Jews arrived each day, a robust communitybegan to emerge, a "Jerusalem in the woods."

After two and a half years in the woods, in July 1944, the Bielskis learnedthat the Germans, overrun by the Red Army, were retreating back towardBerlin. More than one thousand Bielski Jews emerged -- alive -- on that final, triumphant exit from the woods.

About the Author
Peter Duffy, Ed.D., is head of the master of arts in teaching program in theatre education at the University of South Carolina.

Praise For The Bielski Brothers

“Captivating...a welcome story of bold, determined, and successful resistance....[An] unjustly neglected story.”
-San Francisco Chronicle

“As amazing as Schindler’s List.”

“This remarkable story would make a terrific movie…. A story about heroes, and Duffy does a masterful job.”
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Fast-paced and deeply moving...inspiring in its representation of the heroism of ordinary people.”
-Washington Post

“An engrossing, inspiring narrative ... of an incredible victory amid an immeasurable tragedy.”
-Dallas Morning News

“A haunting book...with the grip of good fiction and the punch of hard truth.”
-Chicago Tribune

“An extraordinary story of resistance.”
-The Spectator

“Powerful! The strength of the human spirt shines on in [this] beautifully written book.”
-Paula Zahn, CNN Live from the Headlines

“Remarkable [and] surprising ... Duffy’s book is a gripping and overdue tribute to the brothers’ resourcefulness and courage.”
-London Times

“A fascinating story!”
-The Economist

“[A] dramatic and heartfelt story of unbelievable courage in the face of unspeakable adversity.”
-PW Daily

“Uplifting....A powerful recounting of a little-known story.”
-Kirkus Reviews

“A wildly daring, untold tale of resistance .... inspiring and harrowing.”
-Jewish Bulletin

“An exciting, well-paced story about honor, courage and duty. An inspiration.”
-Howard Blum, author of THE BRIGADE