areas of Lithuania provided refuge for some
Those who could reach the forests established family camps
or became partisans. In Lithuania, this activity took
the Rudniki Forest and Naroch Forest (now in Belarus).
was difficult, particularly
during the harsh winters. A poem describes how people
had to live in order to survive:
The Vice Mayor Invites
Former Residents Home
Food often had to be stolen, and people wishing to join partisan units had to bring their own weapons. Nonetheless, there were eventually more than 50 partisans from Svintsyan. Among them were Yosef Flexer, Feivl Hayat, Shimon Bushkanyetz, Chaya Porus (now Palevsky), and Boris Jochai (seen here placing explosives by a railroad track near Vilna).
Statement of Boris Jochai on His Partisan ActivitiesAnother who became a partisan very early was Peretz Gerzol, or Greizel, also mentioned in an account by Bernard Drushkin in The Jewish Resistance: The History of the Jewish Partisans in Lithuania and White Russia during the Nazi Occupation 1940-1945.
is a transcript of an interview with Arad about his underground
An Interview with Yitzhak AradMordechai (Motke) Zeidel was also a partisan from Svintsyan. His story is at Yad Vashem, where he has served as one of six "Torchlighters," each of whom represents one million of the six million dead who are commemorated each year at the annual Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Day ceremony. You can watch a YouTube interview with him here:
Fighters' House Query Site
Leah Svirski's Partisan SongA number of Svintsyan residents fought in the Naroch Forest, east of Vilna, alongside Vilna residents, in a partisan brigade led by Alexander Bogen, a Vilna artist. Following is Bogen's account of his partisan days.
Alexander Bogen's Partisan Story
Copyright 2000 M S Rosenfeld