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Bracia Bielscy

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4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  2,093 ratings  ·  156 reviews
In 1941, three brothers witnessed their parents and two other siblings being led away to their eventual murders. It was a grim scene that would,of course, be repeated endlessly throughout the war. Instead of running or giving in to despair, these brothers -- Tuvia, Zus, and Asael Bielski -- fought back, waging a guerrilla war of wits against the Nazis.

By using their intima
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Hardcover, 346 pages
Published 2009 by Wydawnictwo Literackie (first published July 1st 2003)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Joe Wisniewski
I have to say that I am quite embarrassed as to not fully appreciating the breadth and scope of the Holocaust atrocities. I wasn't aware of the scope of brutality as it related to extended efforts the Nazi regime took to attempt Jewish extermination in the relative far reaches of Nazi-occupied USSR. This occurred all the way into 1943, only ceasing as the Nazi' were routed by the Red Army in their retreat back to Germany from the eastern front.

I especially appreciated Duffy's apparently slavish
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Liz
This book really does read like a non-fiction thriller. It was life affirming and heart breaking at the same time. Given the knowledge of where the brothers settled in the later years of their lives, reaffirms my awe and wonder at how sometimes hidden among ordinary neighborhood, hidden behind ordinary jobs, there might just be an incredible hero. What I find wonderful about Duffy's account is that while some parts may be, out of admiration, recounted slightly fonder than they actually occurred, ...more
Teresa Mayfield
There is no doubt that this is a compelling story, but perhaps not for the reasons you might expect. These brothers were indeed heroes to some, but what of the several Jews summarily executed by them for not following them unquestionably? To those people and their families, these men were perhaps no better than the Nazis. This book did nothing but make me sad. Sad to see those who would aspire to saving their own so quickly turn to the tactics of their enemies in order to keep the order they des ...more
Susan Bennett
Sep 13, 2014 Susan Bennett rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who loves history
Recommended to Susan by: Huffington Post
I'm a big fan of narrative history and this book reminded me of why I love that genre so much. The subtitle explains what the book is about and it always amazes me to discover the number of WWII heroes previously unknown to me. The narrative is coherent and fast paced. The description of the German atrocities in the Belarus region is unflinchingly horrific. The book covers stories of individual and collective courage, but also is a lesson in choices when the regular behavior norms and governance ...more
Chrissie
Having written so many reviews today, I am getting lazy and sloppy. Let me just summarize by saying that I really liked this book b/c it showed how some Jews fought against the Nazis. So many just say they dumbly put themselves on trains to the concentration camps. THAT IS FALSE! Their active attempts to fight against all odds must be made known. This book helps make clear the truth. Jews did fight for their ives. Secondly, Tuvia was a fighter. To be that you cannot at the same time expect him t ...more
Peggy
An amazing true story of the Bielski Brothers during the Nazi invasion of Belorus. Tuvia Bielski hd a vision of saving Jews from the Nazis and he carried it out come hell or high water. In spite of all odds he kept bringing in refugees and providing a place for them. He said "We cannot sit in the bushes and wait until the wolf comes for us. We must send people into the ghetto to save Jews." Amazing.

It is heartbreaking to think of all those poor people had to do to survive. It is almost impossibl
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GraceH
This book is a very fascinating book, and the author wrote it well. He keeps you interested even through the parts that should be boring.
It blows me away that they could pull something that huge off (don't want to say anything that might ruin the story). One thing that did bother me about the author is that he kept using phrases like "Luck was on their side..." " And luck was with them..." right after a miracle would happen.The part that bothered me the most was near the end (don't worry I'm not
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Leslie
The movie Defiance is based on the true story of the Bielski Brothers, amazing men who saved over 1000 Jewish people during WW2. The book was written in a very simple style--but it was informative and direct. These men were so brave and skillful--they faced so much opposition--the Nazis of course, but there were internal threats to their authority, and they were also incorporated into the Soviet partisan movement and had to answer to the Russians, empahsizing to them that they were saving Soviet ...more
Jarom
An intensely fact-focused book, The Bielski Brothers narrates the fantastic, nearly reality-defying story of the Jewish Bielski brothers and their heroic actions during World War II. Unfortunately for the characters, the author who discovered their demeanors fails to qualify for the occupation of storyteller. Instead of telling a gripping tale, Duffy opts out of potential drama as he prefers to keep to the relative safety of fact; merely recounting what he had been told and read. Hence another v ...more
Bythedeed
Sep 08, 2008 Bythedeed rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Outlaws, Antifa, Anarchists, Partisans, Ambush, Saboteurs, Jews, Forest Dwellers
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa Vegan
Jun 28, 2007 Lisa Vegan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who want to read WW II survival/holocaust books
This was an ultimately satisfying and fascinating account. I’ve read a lot of holocaust books but how this could have happened was new to me. About forest partisans who literally lived in the forest, moving when necessary, in huge groups, right under the Nazi’s noses. Brought up a lot of conflicted feelings for me because these people were merciless and committed quite a bit of violence – and not just against the Nazis but anyone who they perceived as threatening their safety. I normally think o ...more
Meirav Rath
Jan 01, 2008 Meirav Rath rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Holocaust inthusiasts, history lovers
Duffy's had it easy; the story of the amazing miraculous work of the Bielski brothers is an easy subject to research (thanks to the brothers' work there were many survivors to tell their tale) and a light, relatively gore-free subject unlike many in the holocaust period. Duffy wastes no chance to make this already amazing story even greater by describing the era, deeds and people with a light artistic style.
This is a nice, easy to digest book about a very heavy time, and is aught to be read to
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Carla
An amazing account about three Jewish brothers who commit to save Jews during WWII. They lived in the Nowogródek and Lida area of Poland, which was controlled by the Germans. When the army arrives at the Bielski's farm, their father tells his sons to run and hide in the forest nearby until the war is over.
Tuvia, the elder brother and leader of the three, states that he would rather save one old Jewish woman, than kill ten Germans. The beginning group of 30 family members and close friends encou
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Colleen
This was a good book,making a harsh reality clear to me. I think I had romanticized the period somewhat, thinking of the bravery of those that survived and ignoring the brutality that was sometimes necessary to ensure that survival. It is a hard book to read but it leaves you wiser
Scott Rauland
A well documented account of the heroic efforts of the Bielski brothers to save hundreds of Jewish residents from certain death in the ghettoes of Novogrudek, Lida and other cities in Belarus during WW II. The story was dramatized in the film "Defiance," starring Daniel Craig, but the author provides a great deal of additional detail about how the brothers sought to help Jews in the nearby ghettoes escape before it was too late and how they coped with the hardships of life in the forest and the ...more
Say
Really amazing story. Looked for this book after I saw a preview for a movie based on this story that came out last year. Never saw it. Always read the book. Moving account of survival.
Brad Eastman
The story of the Bielski Brothers is at once inspiring and utterly depressing. This work by Mr. Duffy is a straightforward narrative of the events that led the Bielski's to establish a forest camp for Jews in Belorussia during the Holocaust and how those Jews survived despite repeated attacks by Germans, Russians, Poles, Belorussians, Cossaks. The work is based on testimonials and interviews of the survivors and their children. The story is quite moving, particularly to Americans who know little ...more
Bill
Here's my recommendation: If you cannot get your hands on a copy from your local library immediately, go buy it. One of the most compelling stories of survival and heroic action by small groups of Jews hiding from vicious Nazi killers during WWII. Belarus, a small central European country, had a large Jewish population before the war. Like so many countries in the vicinity, when the war ended, there were nearly no Jews left. The Bielski brothers, a very tough trio, by dint of will and no small m ...more
Peggy
Wow! I cannot even begin to describe how amazing this book is! It is written in very simple, straightforward language that tells the true story of 3 Jewish brothers who escape the destruction of the Jews during WW II by taking their family and a few friends into the forest to hide. They build a small community there and take in anybody who wants to join them--sick, old, child--and take care of them. The story of their courage, dedication, compassion for others, and faith is inspiring. They have ...more
Doug Dams
This is the true story of 3 brothers who rescued their families by hiding them in the forests near their town, after the German invasion of Belarus. Eventually, they tried to rescue other Jews and begin to fight as partisans against the Germans. They set up a network to help Jews escape from the camps they were held in and to help feed the Jews already in their care. The brothers worked to keep the Jews together and free and to let the Germans know that Jews were fighting them. The brothers also ...more
Anna
I purchased this book long before the movie "Defiance" came out (I have not seen the film). The book covers a nightmarish time in human history, that of the Nazi "jewish solution" in WWII, and the extreme courage and dogged determination of three brothers who decided that they were not going to be herded like sheep and exterminated. Their bravery and yes, defiance, are amply detailed in this narrative as they doggedly carve out a village in the middle of the forests of Belarus and took in other ...more
Shellie
Sometime in the middle of the first chapter I told myself to just go on and finish this book, after all it was my suggestion for reading group; but then I learned to enjoy the way it was written. It is almost clinical in its accuracy and time-line. Yet it is most definitely not a history book you'll read in school, at least not primary education. Filled with dates, facts, numbers, names, and details this story is interesting and provocative, bold and daring. Some very brave people lived to tell ...more
Steve
Great book about 3 extraordinary brothers standing up to Nazi tyranny. If you've seen the movie "Defiance" read about their whole remarkable story here.

If you have any interest in the Partisan movement, the Jewish resistance, the Warsaw uprising, the White rose, Edelweiss Pirates, Oskar Schindler or anyone else that defied the nazi regime, you have to read this book. First off, this is not a bang bang shoot em up account of the Bielski brothers. This is more about the massive effort it took to m
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Olivia
What a great read! This book tells the amazing story of three Jewish brothers and their struggle to survive the Holocaust. These brothers saved more Jews from the Nazis then Oskar Schindler. This book serves as a good reminder of the anti-semitic tendencies of almost all of Europe. While the Holocaust was so extreme and evil, it didn't come out of nowhere. The family history of these brothers shows how the Jews had been fighting for survival for generations leading up to the Holocaust. This book ...more
Daniel Stoltzfoos
In my book, The Bielski Brothers, there are three brothers, Tuvia, Zus, and Asael. It describes their story and how they saved the lives of over twelve hundred Jews. The brothers provided a place for these Jews to live by building a small town in dense forest of the Naliboki Puscha. It also describes how instead of fleeing from the Germans they fought back with the little weapons they could obtain.
Since The Bielski Brothers is a nonfiction book it does not have a constant theme, but it is stil
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Marilyn
Well written, fast paced, little known, true story of 3 brothers who saved nearly 1200 Jews. The book goes into much detail how these People survived hidden in the forest under the protection of the Bielski's.
In 1944 after 30 months of evading the Nazis they were finally able to come out after the Red Army overran the Germans. I had seen the movie Defiance, but the book goes into much more detail and is very inspiring. Too bad the brothers never received the recognition they deserved.
Rebecca
The journey of three Jewish brothers that escape Nazi persecution then go on to form a small resistance unit that keeps growing throughout the war as more and more Jews escape the Ghettos and concentration camps.
When the war ended, about 1200 Jews came out of the woods.
The story, details the story of the Bielski brothers' journey, a sort of biography. It talks about their attempts at cooperation with the communists, their strategies, their warlord attitudes, but also their story after the war wa
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Neeta
Read this a couple of years ago. Gripping nonfiction of three brothers who evaded the Nazi's during WWII by establishing a guerrilla type resistance community in the dense forests of Belarus. The brothers lead the group and had to cope with internal dissension, collaborators and conflicts with their Soviet superiors. Their efforts resulted in saving the lives of over a thousand Jews at the end of the war.
Toni
Following the defeat of the Nazi's in 1944 Russia, a group of 1200 people came out of hiding to return to civilization. That these people were alive (not to mention the literally thousands who are their descendants), was due to the actions of three brave brothers.

After witnessing the early stages of the Nazi's attacks against the Soviet Union, the three Bielski brothers launched a daring rescue of their fellow Jewish citizens, and began hiding people in the dense forests that surrounded their h
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Sarah
I can't say I LOVED this book, compared to reading The Hiding Place and Left to Tell. It did give amazing details on survival and how they saved others, but it wasn't inspiring like the other two books. When I finished reading this book I didn't feel like it changed my life as drastically, nor did it bring me closer to my God.
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