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« " I liked them better when they were saving the whales." - Don Surber | Main | POTUS laughs at "joke" that Limbaugh's kidneys should fail »

Sunday, 10 May 2009


The Bielski Brothers-The True Story of three Men Who Defied the Nazis, Built a Village in the Forest, and Saved 1,200 Jews—Defiance is their movie (defiancemovie.com). Just to fill in on some details; I grew up after the War with Zus and Tuvia; I'm Zus and Sonia's son. I am named after my father’s brother and my mother’s brother, both Yaakovs, who were murdered by the Nazis, I am Yaakov; how fitting. Defiance captures the impulsivity of Zus and the wisdom of Tuvia. None of the Bielskis were petty criminals prior to the War that was made up in the movie as an explanation why they had, and still propagate via their children and grandchildren, aggressive skills. The reality was that they lived in a small village and had a mill which converted wheat and other products into cooking fares (breads). Growing up they had to defend themselves and their business from the locals. They were always a family team, 9 brothers and 2 sisters, and also had many non Jewish friends who helped them during the Holocaust. They developed a reputation before the War that "you shouldn't mess with the Bielskis because you are sure to lose" a quote by Aron Bell Bielski. As the environment grew more hostile against Jews and the Bielskis in particular, the ante was raised and so was their response to it, ruthlessness and compassion. The Defiance movie did not show Bielskis' enemies’ heads being axed (Jerusalem in the Woods, The History Channel 11/06). The Bielskis gave the death penalty to captured Nazis by grenades as each Nazi watched his fellows get blown up knowing that he will be next. "It was very smelly" said Shula Rubin in The Bielski Partisans a documentary by Kumar 1996. Many unmentionable acts were done without remorse by the Bielski Otriad (excluding the massacre fallacy of Naliboki, which falsely accuses the Bielski of killing civilians unnecessarily). Remember what would you do if they killed your mother and father, your brothers, your wife and daughter? Zus never considered his revenge disproportionate nor did he consider Israel's responses to the killing of Israelis ever disproportionate. He told me many times, THEY, will only understand the stick. The THEY change over time in the Jewish experience, was our response to Egyptian slavery disproportionate, after all many died of the plagues and sea? I think that whether by choice or coincidence Mr. Zwick prioritized Tuvia as the Moses figure and Zus as David, of Goliath fame. This inadvertently (?)points to disproportionate responses are necessary to maintain Jewish life. Between me and you if the Bielskis’ Defiance movie has any positive influence on Israeli gov’t a more assertive and permanent solution would already be in place both politically and militarily. Defiance was not intended to directly comment on Israeli policies it intended to show that all Jews are capable and obligated to live and be defiant to anyone who threatens our existence, anytime, anywhere. ‘I am Bielski’
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I find "distinctive" too attractive a word for such an unspeakable as this; I would rather have said "salient," meaning "prominent or conspicuous.
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This inadvertently (?)points to disproportionate responses are necessary to maintain Jewish life.
Awesome...that the son of Zus Bielski has commented on your blog. That is a zchus...that you so rightly deserve. My dear holy sister, YOU are a tzaddeikis.

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