[Lublin District, Poland] * [Chelm - Hrubieszow Death March]
[Dubno, Ukraine] * [Belzec Death Camp]
[Sobibor Death Camp] * [Majdanek Concentration Camp]
[Jewish Revolts and Uprisings in the Lublin District]
Nazi-sponsored persecution and mass murder fueled resistance to the Germans in the Third Reich itself and throughout occupied Europe. Although Jews were the Nazis' primary victims, they too resisted Nazi oppression in a variety of ways, both collectively and as individuals. The Jewish partisans listed below are an inspiration. They valiantly fought and died for freedom against the Nazi murderers.
Amcha ("your people") was the "code" that the Maccabees had used when they fought the Syrians in the 2nd Century BCE. Jewish partisans in the forests of Lublin used this same password to identify other Jews in the area. In fighting as partisans, their number one goal was to save Jewish lives. Women with small children and the elderly found refuge because of the men and women listed below. Several of the "family camps" grew to hundreds of people, most especially the camp called Tabor operated by Grynszpan's 2nd Holod Battalion and the camp called Ohozhe operated by the Lichtenberg group.
Both the Narodowe Sily Zbrojne (NSZ), which had around 75,000 Polish fighters, and the Polish Home Army (Armia Krajowa), which had around 270,000 fighters, consisted of many vicious anti-Semites. The groups were very active in the Lublin district. Therefore not only did the partisan groups have to withstand the Nazis and anti-Jewish Polish fighters from these two armed groups, but also the combination of Polish military men and Polish farmers intent on murdering Jews.
Of course, there were some pro-Jewish Polish military men and an occasional pro-Jewish farmer as well. In spite of these obstacles, two cases of Jewish partisans rescuing Poles is documented in Marek Jan Chodakiewicz's book "Zydzi i Polacy 1918-1955" (Jews and Poles 1918-1955). In February of 1944, Abram Braun saved his friends, Stanislaw Saganowski ("Dab") and his son Jerzy Saganowski ("Brzoza") of Aleksandrowka from the NKVD and the UB. They were active members of the NSZ, and thus had to go into hiding after the arrival of the Red Army. Braun arranged for immunity for the Saganowskis from the local secret police and protected them afterward. Braun helped them move to his house in Krasnik. Subsequently, Saganowski, Sr. went into a black market business with his Jewish friend. Saganowski, Jr. enrolled at a high school in Krasnik. Both maintained personal contacts with their NSZ colleagues but remained passive in the anti-Communist struggle. In a separate incident in the spring of 1945, Aleksander Mieczyslaw Skotnicki saved a man, Pawel Golombek, from the Communist secret service (UB). Golombek was a Polish policeman who was secretly in the Underground.
Two of the more successful Jewish partisan group leaders, Shmuel "Mietec" Gruber and Yechiel "Chil" Grynszpan, had both previously been corporals in the Polish Army. Jews had been required to serve their country -- even as the borders changed -- for centuries. This previous military training was crucial to their success as unit leaders.
The conditions the partisans had to overcome are monumental by any standard. There was not just the lack of food, the constant starvation, and the need to find food by any means possible. Another obstacle was dealing with the fact that most of their family members had previously been murdered and overcoming the feeling that they were now truly alone in the world. There was also the problem of how to get weapons, how to stay warm in the winters, and how to avoid detection by Polish and German soldiers. Complicating this last matter was the fact that a majority of Poles and Ukrainians were eager to report Jews to the Nazi murderers. Many of our Jewish partisans overcame these tremendous difficulties, but others were not as fortunate. We fondly remember the Jewish partisans of the Lublin distrct as heroes, today and forever. Below is information on the specific groups that formed between 1942 and 1944 in the district, each formed to fight off the Nazi murderers:
Groups form Northwest of Lublin: In Markuszow and Kamionka in 1942, groups of young Jews who escaped from ghettos or otherwise avoided capture managed to acquire weapons and food. When the Jewish community of Markuszow was rounded up, some 700 Jews fled. The four separate Jewish partisan groups -- one led by Mordechai Kirshenboim, a second led by brothers Yerukham and Yaakov Gotheilf, a third called the Cossacks, and a fourth group from Kamionka led by Frank Blaichman -- set up camps in the Wola forests. In early December of 1942, a group of S.S. men and Ukrainian auxiliaries arrived near Markuszow to search the forests for hidden Jews. On December 2, the first day of the search, about 400 Jews were killed. Another 600 perished before the sweep ended on January 20, 1943.
Thus, the first three groups of partisans mentioned above were exterminated. There were two specific incidents still in memory today from the survivors. These incidents occurred after years on the run and in hiding. Near Markuszow was a village called Pryszczowa Gora, built on a peaty area with 350 families in the village. The residents, all peasants, were poor. Markuszow Jews built caves and camouflaged themselves at this locale. The shochet went out one day and was spotted by the military police after a local villager complained. The Germans were led to the entrance of the cavesite. The cave entrances were stuffed with straw and set on fire. All of the Jews were dead, except one little girl. She was taken in by the villagers and passed from house to house. The second incident concerned a separate group of Markuszow fighters, the Emilia Plater group led by Jegier. On Feb. 4, 1944, there were three unknown peasants at a barn owned by a farmer the partisans knew in Pryszczowa Gora. The threesome had reported the Jews to the Germans, and by the time the partisans realized this they were ambushed. The two survivors of this incident were Janek (also called Yosel), unknown surname, and Sziye Goldberg. They were both severely wounded.
Frank Blaichman's group was more successful because they were better armed. The group eventually rose to 75 fighters and merged with a group led by Shmuel "Mietek" Gruber in the summer of 1943. The combined group total was around 90 fighters. Blaichman's group was very successful in acquiring weapons, which several of the other Jewish partisan groups had great difficulty achieving. At just age 16 when the war started, Frank Blaichman became an unlikely leader and hero. He had no military background or training, but assumed the role of leader of the group for the purpose of avenging the blood of his murdered family members.
All Jewish members of the Polish Army were sent to the Lipowa 7 Labor Camp in Lublin. Samuel Gruber and other Lipowa 7 inmates were forced to build the Majdanek Concentration Camp as part of their slave labor detail. Gruber had been injured in a battle in the campaign against the Nazis, so he was eventually taken out of slave labor. He remained at the Lipowa camp, but was assigned to work in an office of a hospital that distributed uniforms, rifles, and pistols to German soldiers coming from the front. He was able to steal weapons, which he funneled to the anti-German Polish underground.
In October of 1942, Gruber and another prisoner named Kaganowicz (first name either Berko or Josef) led a group of around 25 men into the Kozlow woods north of Lublin. Gruber had difficulty finding weapons after escaping from Lipowa 7. His group was small and largely unarmed, but had local connections with friendly farmers. Their group placed vulnerable, sick, or elderly Jews with farmers they could trust to avoid attracting attention.
After Gruber's group, at least two other groups of prisoners from Lipowa 7 also escaped into the woods. They were aided by a People's Guard Polish detachment.
The Blaichman and Gruber groups merged in summer, 1943, and together they hunated down Nazis and any Poles who collaborated with them. They picked off German patrols and stole German weapons. They initially fought in the area west of the Wieprz River in the Janowski (Yanov) forest west of Lublin. The combined forces acquired rifles, pistols, and machine guns as well as food and clothing obtained from various sources, including Nazis, Polish villagers, and an occasional political ally. This combined group, "The Lubartow Group", reached Chil Grynszpan's groups in January of 1944 and merged with them. The combined groups had around 400 fighters and worked closely with the Armia Ludowa.
Groups form Northeast of Lublin: Yechiel Grynszpan was part of a horse-trading family and thus became familiar with the wagon routes and swamps in the forests near where he grew up prior to the war. His family mostly traded with non-Jews, and therefore he also knew which Polish farmers could be trusted. Grynszpan and his group set up a camp in the woods called Tabor, where the elderly, children, and those too weak to fight could still survive. The camp was protected by the Jewish partisan unit and surrounded by dense forests. The people in the Tabor camp were mostly from local villages such as Kodeniec, Pachole, Zahajki, and Krzywowierzby. The three village elders who oversaw the Tabor camp were Abram from Zaliscze (Abram Cholomski), Yankel from Holowno, and Nuchem from Krasnowka. Jews set up a makeshift synagogue in the forests and Grynszpan worked to motivate the partisans, saying "You are born once - you only die once". Grynszpan's group worked with Fioder's brigade, Lichtenberg's group, and later the Gruber-Blaichman-Jegier group from the Pulawy area. They later formed a tight bond with the Armia Ludowa, who recognized Grynszpan's group was the most organized Jewish resistance in all of eastern Poland. It consisted of Jews native to Parczew and Sosnowica as well as a group of POWs who had escaped from the camp in Biala Podlaska.
Tragically, in the fall of 1943, the Nazis invaded the campsite and 75 of the around 200 of the Jews living in it were murdered. In the fall of 1943, more than a dozen of the Sobibor uprising escapees found Grynszpan's group -- each sick, starved, and frozen. They included: Yehuda "Atleta" Lerner, Abraham Margules, Hella Fellenbaum, Ajzik Rotenberg, Itzhak Lichtman, a Russian Jew with a pistol (Taborinski), Ada Fischer, Kitty Gokkes, and Ursula Stern. Prior to finding the Grynszpan group, Sobibor survivors Lerner, Taborinski, and Moshe Goldfarb were with a group of six other Sobibor survivors who were lured into a group of around 20 Polish fighters led by two brothers called Piatek. Without warning, these Polish fighters attacked the Jewish Sobibor survivors near Hola, and six were murdered, including one woman. Three lived to tell the story. They left this group and continued to search for allies, and fortunately met the Grynszpan partisans.
The Lubartow group of Gruber and Blaichman eventually joined Chil's battalion. The combined units were tough, experienced, and disciplined by the fall of 1943. There were 150 people in the combined unit, including 20 armed women who fought alongside the men. The forces cut phone poles between Lublin and Wlodawa, attacked police headquarters and government posts in Kaplonosy and Parczew, blew up at least four army troop trains, and hijacked German supply trucks on the highways. They also picked off Germans whenever it was possible to do so.
In October of 1942, a separate group of around a dozen partisans formed outside of Adampol, Poland. The group gained members one by one, until it reached around 40 fighters. Freedom was a new concept for this group, as most had been imprisoned in the Wlodawa or Adampol ghettos and had found a way to escape. This group was the beginnings of the Lichtenberg group. Another group of Jews mostly from the Wlodawa area formed inside of the labor camp and eventually escaped. This group, led by Nahum Knopfmacher, eventually merged with Lichtenberg's group, but the two leaders had different ideas about the right actions to take in the short term. Lichtenberg was more focused on revenge and Knopfmacher was more focused on freeing Jews from Adampol Labor Camp.
Wlodawa is located east of the Bug River, near Sobibor. The Polish farmer Papinski was a messenger between the Lichtenberg group and local populations. In May, 1943 the Wlodawa Ghetto was liquidated. Between the partisan groups in the area, there were at least four rescue missions into the Wlodawa Ghetto to smuggle Jews out of it, and over 100 Jews were taken out of the ghetto or the nearby Adampol Labor Camp.
Lichtenberg's group joined the Chil Grynszpan group, but Lichtenberg's leadership style also clashed with the Grynszpan partisans. Around 30 fighters from the Lichtenberg group left the Grynszpan group and joined a Russian partisan detachment called Woroshilow led by Kolka Meluch. Subsequently, they crossed the Bug River to continue their struggle for freedom in the Soviet partisan movement. While there, unit leaders Moshe Lichtenberg, Motel Rosenberg and Chaim Fiszman were shot by Kolka in a dispute over machine guns. After losing these key men, Leon Nemzer, who had served in the Polish Army, took over as the group's leader. At its height, the group consisted of around 90 men and 10 women. The ammunition and food supplies of the Lichtenberg group were consistently very sparse. Only around 30 of its fighters were armed. The local Poles in the area around Wlodawa were very hostile to the Jewish partisans. In April of 1944, most of the Lichtenberg partisans joined the Red Army.
Partisan Zev Velvele Litwack recalls:
"On December 16, 1942 Chil led us to the village Ostrowa, where we started a heavy fight with the Hitlerists and after some hours we succeeded in conquering the position. German officers fell in our hands and 12 Polish policemen were shot. We captured many arms, uniforms, and other things. We burned down their housings and the town hall. The mayor, who had cooperated with the Germans, was shot. This was the first act of revenge for the Jewish bloodshed." But there was a price to pay: shortly after the victory, the Germans surrounded the partisans. The partisans were bombed for three days with planes and tanks. According to Litwack, "When they were about 40 meters from our range of sight came the order: 'Fire!' And we opened fire from all sides, so that the Germans did not know from where it came and they were standing in an open cornfield on their way towards us. In this battle we lost three partisans, two Russians and one Jew, Simcha Levinson from Sosnowica. Tens of Germans were killed. After fighting for about five hours the Germans retreated."One daring, but ultimately unsuccessful, action devised by the Grynszpan unit was an attempt to liberate 770 Jewish prisoners from the Krasnik Labor Camp (Skret). Liaison was established with the Jews inside the camp, who were supplied with 30 revolvers and a number of hand grenades. A plan for concerted action was carefully elaborated; the revolt inside the camp was to flare up simultaneously with the partisan attack from the outside. An informer revealed the plans to the Nazis. Several days before the scheduled revolt was to take place, the Nazis seized the armed rebels inside the camp, killed the bulk of them, and transferred others to the nearby Budzyn.
By July of 1944, Chil's partisan forces -- which had formed an alliance with the Armia Ludowa -- was surrounded by German soldiers. On July 22, the Red Eighth Army passed them during the night, and the partisans from the Mietek and Grynszpan groups were behind the front line of liberated Poland. Of the roughly 4,000 Jews who had fled to the forests of Parczew, Markuszow, and Wlodawa between 1940 and 1944, only around 200 were still alive. Chil's group was one of the most successful partisan detachments in all of Europe.
Groups form Southwest of Lublin: By 1942, the last Jews of Krasnik had been deported to the Belzec Extermination Camp. Hundreds of them were able to escape into the woods before the deportation. Avraham Braun, partisan name Adolf Braun, operated in the area around Krasnik, where the Budzyn and Krasnik (Skret) Labor Camps were located. His group consisted of around 50 Jews, mostly escapees from labor camps or ghettos. It was a very successful group. In 1943 or 1944, ten of Braun's men were gunned down by a supposed ally, Lieutenant Karol Herzenberger Lemichow, who was a German in the Red Army and then the Armia Ludowa. Braun was later murdered with most of his group in a battle in the Janow Lubelski forest on June 14, 1944 Division 154. It was few weeks before the area was liberated. Around fifteen of his partisan group did survive. Additional information about resistance in the Krasnik area is available here. Abraham Braun is discussed on page 111 of "The Routledge Atlas of the Holocaust" by Martin Gilbert.
Another group operating in the Krasnik area was under the leadership of the Armia Ludowa Polish fighters, specifically one Grzegorz Korczynski. Two Jews, Jan Szelubski and a man named Bleicher, survived when this Jewish partisan unit was attacked by Poles in the area surrounding Krasnik. After the war, it was determined that Korczynski had ties to the murderers of this Jewish unit and he was held fully responsible for the action. This event likely happened in 1942 and it is unclear how many Jewish partisans were murdered.
Korczynski persisted, with the blessing the AL leadership. His job was to organize additional groups in the southern part of the Lublin district. Korczynski's unit grew in size in fall, 1942 and consisted of the following sub-units: A group from Frampol that had escaped from the Ghetto; a group under Yaakov Freitag that had escaped from the village of Reczyca in Pulawy County; a group under Reuven Pintel's leadership; a group that escaped from the Majdanek Concentration Camp under the leadership of a partisan named Robert; and several non-Jewish Polish fighting groups.
Prior to joining up with Korczynski's group, Robert's Majdanek escapees carried out a successful ambush on the road near Bychawa, attacking two trucks carrying gendarmes, on October 15, 1942.
Together, the combined unit successfully attacked the Germans at the Janiszow labor camp near Annopol in November, 1942. The People's Guard Polish forces were also involved in this endeavor. Although all of the prisoners were free to leave the camp, they had no resources such as food and arms, and many were either caught and killed or caught and sent to Budzyn Labor Camp. Around 60 prisoners successfully escaped, but were eventually attacked and murdered by armed Polish groups.
Next, Korczynski's unit was intent on attacking the Rejowiec-Lwow rail line. But on April 4, 1943, every Jewish partisan in the unit -- with one exception, Korczynski himself -- was murdered. The circumstances surrounding the deaths have never been explained. Additional details regarding Korchinsky's horrendous anti-Jewish activities are available here.
Groups form South of Lublin: There were also several Jewish partisan groups that formed in the southern tier of the Lublin district. They were frequently in touch with Russian units that traveled in and out of the district and then headed back east. The Berek Joselowicz detachment under Eduard Forst had a base in Puszcza Solska, a little northwest of Jozefow in Tomaszow Lubelski County. The group formed and fought in April and May of 1943, but by August they had been dissolved -- likely murdered.
According to Shmuel Krakowski, in July 1942, Jews and Poles joined Rayevski's Russian unit in the south of Lublin. This unit became the largest in the area and had three submachine guns and a few rifles as well as grenades and pistols for each fighter. Rayevski decided to leave to go to Russia but the Jewish partisans stayed behind because they were familiar with the local area. The unit split up, with a majority heading east. The leftover Jewish unit, let by the Met brothers, was based near Kosznia near Frampol. A local forest watchman in Kosznia told the Germans exact details of the whereabouts of the Jewish partisans. The Jews killed this Polish collaborator. But when the Armia Krajowa found out about it, they spread anti-Jewish propaganda in the area and recruited hundreds of peasants to expel the partisans from the forests (source: Shmuel Krakowski).
On October 2, 1942, 300 Jews fled Frampol during the deportations to death camps. Some of them had acquired guns earlier and had them hidden in the forests. This group joined with Korczynski's Armia Ludowa unit and was wiped out before the end of 1943.
In the vicinity of Majdan Tyszowski, Tomaszow Lubelski county, a Jewish partisan unit commanded by a Jew from Lublin named Tsadok (Tzadik or Chudak) established contact with the local unit of the Armia Krajowa. After a successful joint operation, the Armia Krajowa unit invited the Jewish combatants for a feast. The Jews were first served poisoned vodka and then fired upon. No one survived (source: Unequal Victims: Poles and Jews during World War).
According to the Yizkor book for Bychawa, Poland, Henek Zimerman was the leader of the most organized and most active Jewish partisans group in the area. With him was Josef Reznik, who was captured by the Polish Army in 1939 and escaped from the Lipowa 7 camp in Lublin. Reznik was in the area of the Dombrow and Osterlic forests.
Before the war Zimerman had taken their guns that were hidden in the forest. Then he gathered young Jews and hid in the forest. His name became famous in the area. The Zimerman partisan group consisted of between 12 and 20 fighters at various times. Even the 12 German Gendarmes in Krasnik were afraid of them.
There were many Jews hiding in the villages near Bychawa. At the end of 1942, about 70 Jews gathered in the garden of Faluch(?) - only 12 survived the war. Zimerman tried to enlarge his activity. He contacted farmers in villages that would hide Jews. He alerted them that there would be consequences for those who murdered Jews. After a farmer named Balachuk turned in Zadok's brother-in-law, Zimerman burned his house and the partisan caught Balachuk and killed him. They put his body on the road and left a note that he was killed because he turned in a Jew to the Nazis.
Zimerman also supplied the hidden Jews food and he ordered the farmers to leave each evening outside their houses pots with cooked potatoes. At the beginning of 1943, Zimerman attacked the police station of Pitrawitz (sp?). He took from the seven policemen their weapons and set fire to the documents and Archive to prevent checking of false documents.
Partisan Mordechai "Motel" Sztrajnblic was in a cowshed and heard the shooting. He went to the forest and saw the Zimerman group killing four German Gendarmes and three or four others were able to escape. Zimerman took their machine guns from them. In May or June 1943, Zimerman was arrested, but the arresting forces did not know he was a partisan . They took him to Pitrewitz and he succeeded to escape.
In the end of summer of 1943, Zimerman was killed along with six others, including a partisan named Cudak (Zadok), an escaped prisoner from Lipowa 7. A German unit surrounded the village Mejdan-Damninski. They burned 12 houses Zimerman and his group 16 people in total were hiding in a cowshed in the village. The German surrounded them Zimerman tried to break out to the forest. The battle took from 11:00 until 16:00 hours. Zimerman continue to shoot until his last moment. Reznik and few others reached the forest and survived.
Groups form East of Lublin: There were more than a dozen Russian partisan groups in the Lublin district. There was significant overlap between the Russian partisan groups in the Lublin district and both the Red Army and the Armia Ludowa. One of the earliest Russian partisan group was called the Fioder group (also Pushkin's group, or Imienia Jozefa Bema). It consisted of both Jewish and non-Jewish Russian fighters, mostly escaped prisoners of war, and had around 40 unskilled fighters. It's leader was Fioder Kovalov (partisan name: Teodor Albrecht), a Soviet officer and escaped POW, and the group fought in the Makoszka forest near Parczew. The first battle of Fioder's partisans took place in November 1942. The partisans tried to beat off a German assault on a forest where a group of Parczew Jews were hiding. But the partisans were forced to retreat, and most of the Jews were killed on the spot. On Dec. 6-8, 1942, the partisans fought another battle in the Parczew forests. In spite of having considerable police and military forces, the Germans suffered significant losses while the partisans managed to successfully extract themselves out of the encirclement. On December 17, 1942 the Fioder unit captured the town of Ostrow Lubelski, killing a policeman and wounding a few others. During this battle a Polish police post was attacked, a post office, a dairy factory assisting the German war effort, and a German government office were destroyed. In the spring of 1943, Fioder's forces joined with Grynszpan's group. In the second half of 1943 and the beginning of 1944 Ostrow Lubelski was under the control of the Communist AL (Armia Ludowa). The following Jewish members were killed in action around Passover, 1943: Chuna Kot, Lejb Grinblat, Hersz Rodzinek, Yosef Waserman and Itzak Tarif. Eventually Fioder is believed to have gone into Russian territory (further east).
A Russian group led by the Edelstein brothers and Itzhak Reichman numbered around 20 fighters. The Edelstein brothers were refugees from Kalisz who went to Povorsk, Ukraine and organized an underground resistance there. The group operated out of the forests. Misha Edelstein was humble and modest, but wanted revenge for the deaths of his parents and girlfriend Raja Plus. Today in Rivne there is a memorial in memory of Misha Edelstein. He was murdered in battle after the liberation. Pasha Reichman later joined another unit and went to Israel after the war.
Another Soviet partisan group, led by Kolka, is discussed above.
A fourth Soviet partisan group, called the Janowski group, is discussed in the next section below.
The Wanda Wasilewska brigade led by Oleksiy Fedorov (Alex Fyodorov) was a large brigade of mixed Jewish and non-Jewish fighters. This group mostly fought east of the Bug River, but eventually crossed westward to take on the Germans more directly. According to partisan survivor Ben Kamm, the Fyodorov Brigade had destroyed 549 German trains by the end of 1943. Many of the groups, including the Fyodorov group, received airdrops from Russia, which included such needs as ammunition, mines, and medicines. They also received regular reports from Radio Moscow. The group's objectives were to distribute weapons to the local population and to get as many people to fight as possible.
Jews Who Fought with the Armja Ludowa: Several units also joined with the Armia Ludowa, the left-wing Polish forces fighting the Nazis. Most of the Jews involved in the AL were not political at all, but simply were fighting to sustain their livelihood. The Janowski group was one such group who fought with the Armia Ludowa. This mixed group, which had around 50 to 70 fighters in 1944, was led by Jews Leon Kasman and Leon Bielski. The Janovski group arrived to Parczew forests at the beginning of 1943, crossing west from the Bug. Their main mission was to free the Poniatowa Labor Camp near Opole Lubelski. However before that took place, in November of 1943, all of the Jews in Poniatowa were murdered. The group continued moving west and came to Mielec, Poland near the end of the war. They succeeded in attacking German units and blowing up trains. They received heavy support from Russia, as the heads of the unit had strong ties to the Russian military. They also took revenge on a Polish family that had shot the Jews they were hiding, however the location of this incident is not known.
Jewish doctor Michael Temchin was a commander in the Armia Ludowa, a leftist underground organization in Poland. His unit, which consisted of both Jews and non-Jews, was active around Krasnik, Lublin district. They planned to rescue Jews from the Krasnik Ghetto. However those inside the Ghetto were hesitant to allow the partisans to act, and in one night the entire Krasnik Ghetto was wiped out with few managing to survive or escape.
A significant number of Jews reached important positions in the Polish partisan movement, especially in Units on the left, the AL, and the Socialist Fighting Organization. The Commander of the largest Partisan Battalion in Generalgouvernement territory was the Jewish Officer, Alexander Skotnicki (Captain Zemsta), who was included among the Armia Ludowa's renowned organizers list.
General Rola-Zimierski, the commander of the Armia Ludowa, declared at a meeting of the Polish National Assembly on the 2nd of January 1946: "Jewish soldiers fought against the occupation forces with much devotion and courage. They were valiant fighters and very often great heroes" and in his letter to the Organization of Jewish Partisans (F.P.O.), the general wrote: "Among the Jews who remained alive there were thousands who went into the woods to fight with arms, and fought together with their Polish partisan comrades against the common enemy."
Many of the names are Polish proper names, so Jozef = Josef = Joe and Rojza = Rosa = Rose. Other names are Yiddish or Hebrew names, so
Yaakov = Jakub = Jacob and Chana = Hanka = Hannah. To add a name to this list, please contact us.
Samuel "Mietek" Gruber, partisan leader.
Back row, from left: Harold Werner, Symcha Barbanel, Dora Grynszpan, Abram Grynszpan, Wladek Litwak;
front, from left: Shienka from Wlodawa, Abram the Patzan, Chanina Henry Barbanel.
Former Soviet prisoners of war -- Jews who were in Sobibor and who had originated in Russia.
A gathering in memory of the uprising. Pictured (left to right): Jefim Litwinowsky, Arkady Wayspapir,
Alexander Pechersky, Alexei Waytzen, Nahum Plotnitsky, Simeon Rozenfeld.
Ben Kamm, partisan responsible for helping Jews escape from the Janow Lubelski Ghetto.
Partisans who previously escaped from Sobibor. Includes Shmuel Szmajzner (back, 2nd from left), Abram Kohn
(2nd row, far right), Kalman Wewryk (2nd row, second from right) and others not identified.
Symbol Guide (Legend)
* Escapee from the Sobibor Death Camp.
||| Escapee from the Warsaw Ghetto.
*** Escapee from Lipowa Street Camp, Lublin.
(()) Escapee from Adampol Labor Camp near Wlodawa.
@ Grynszpan group but combined with the Wlodawans (Lichtenberg group).
^ Note: "Patzan" was a nickname signifying a small person.
From top, left: Dudkin Rubinstein, Jurek Pomeranc, Lonka Chaim Fefferkorn, Lova (Leon) Zitzman,
Yehiel Grynszpan, Yehuda "Junak" Milsztajn, Josef Rolnik, unknown Russian fighter. Kneeling, from left:
Abie Rubinstein (Abram the Patzan), Henry Barbanel, and Kirlow Rubinstein.
Dudkin Rubenstein (on the left), Yechiel Grynszpan (on the right), commander of this partisan unit;
Chaim Feferkorn (kneeling on the left) and Leon Lyowa Zitzman (kneeling on the right).
Unit commander Chil Grynspan, left, with Josef Rolnik (center) and Dudkin Rubinstein.
Leon Sittzmann (Zitzman), Joe Holm, and Josef Rolnik.
Zev Litwak, left; Shenka from Wlodawa, right.
From left: Moshe Peshalis, Motel Barbanel, his cousins Simcha Barbanel and Chanina Barbanel (skip the head
between them). Unknown, the uncle Gedalia "Geniek" Barbanel, unknown, and unknown.
Partisan Avigdor (Wigdor) Shporer in Lublin, 1944 (left side).
Partisans Zeev Litwack (Velvale the Patzan) and Chil Grynszpan, immigration photos to Brazil.
Nachum Knopfmacher, left, and Michael Knopfmacher (Michael Kaftori), right.
Unidentified partisans. Includes Michael Knopfmacher, 4th from right, center row. Next to him on the left: Chaim Ajzen.
Lichtenberg group partisans.
Bernard Szwarc, Dov Berezin, and Leibel Brones. Mr. Brones was from Krasnik and his former name was Hersh Brener.
Partisans in the Lublin district, unidentified location. Left: Partisan leader Abraham Bron; others unidentified.
Unidentified partisans. Abraham Bron, back far left; Baruch Goldscher (Bernard Goldshore), third from left.
Unidentified partisans. Mischa Stahlhammer, front right.
Two fighters from the Polish underground "Armia Ludowa" in the Krasnik area. Photographed in 1944.
Left to right: Simon Rabines, Shmuel Emil Jegier, Frank Bleichman, Stefan Sam Finkel. In Markuszow.
Plater group (L-R): Zelazny "Iron" Ajzenberg, Martin Kirszenbaum, Mordechai "Marczynek" Kirszenbaum, Simon Rabiner.
Unidentified fighters in Markuszow between 1943 and 1946. Seem to be affiliated with the Armia Ludowa.
General Zemsta (aka Snotnicki), the Jewish commander of the Armia Ludowa forces.
The People's Army (Armia Ludowa, known as Gwardia Ludowa or "The People's Guard") was one of the two main military
organizations of the Polish underground. Jewish partisan Dr. Temczyn is in this photo with General Michal "Rola" Zymierski (top,
center) of the Armia Ludowa. Top, from left: Jan Czechowicz, Stanislaw Kotek-Agroszewski, Zymierski, Grab Widerkowski,
Stanislaw Szot. Bottom, from left Waclaw Czyzewski, Cien, Dr. Michael Temczyn. Photo from 1944 in Parczew.
A group of fighters from the Polish underground "Armia Ludowa" in the Krasnik area, 1944.
Lipowa 7 escapees:
Mischa Stahlhammer, a partisan from Krasnik who later migrated to Sweden.
Partisans Isadore Farbstein, Rostka Holm, and Frank Blaichman.
- Azoy iz es geven (The Way It Was, Yiddish), Buenos Aires, 1948 by Jonas Turkow.
- Chaim Ajzen Remembers by Henry Steel
- I Chose Life by Samuel Gruber
- Codename Barber: The Story of Partisan Mischa Stahlhammer by Semmy Stahlhammer
- Escape from Sobibor by Richard Raschke
- Fighting Back: A Memoir of Jewish Resistance in WWII by Harold Werner
- From the Ashes of Sobibor: A Story of Survival by Thomas Toivi Blatt
- Fugitives of the Forest: Heroic Stories of Resistance & Survival in WWII by Gerald Levine
- Holocaust Journey: Traveling in Search of the Past by Martin Gilbert
- Hurbn un gvure fun shtetl Markuszow (Destruction and Heroism, Town of Markuszow. Yiddish. Tel Aviv, 1955.
- Martyrdom and Revolt. Documents and Testimonies by Miriam Novitch, New York, 1980.
.. Includes several testimonies from Sobibor uprising survivors who fought as partisans.
- Promise at Sobibor: A Jewish Boy's Story of Revolt by Fiszel Bialowitz
- Rather Die Fighting: A Memoir of WWII by Frank Blaichman
- Reluctant Soldier: A Jewish Partisan's Story by Jakob Friedman
- The Reminiscences of Dov Berezin
- To Sobibor and Back: An Eyewitness Account by Kalman Wewryk
- Story of a Secret State: My Report to the World by Jan Karski
- Szmul Zygielbojm: Profile of Partisan Hero by Ronald Cohn and Jesse Russel
- The Witch Doctor: Memoirs of a Partisan by Dr. Michael Temchin
- The Undefeated by Shiye Goldberg
- War of the Doomed: Jewish Armed Resistance in Poland, 1942-1944 by Shmuel Krakowski
- About Jewish Partisan Frank Blaichman
- Armies of the Young: Child Soldiers in War and Terrorism; pps. 48-51 discuss partisan children in
.. the Lublin Forests
- Fate of Some of the Sobibor Survivors
- From a Prisoner’s Camp to a Partisan Troop by Alufi and Barkeli in "Aishishuk", pages 77-78.
.. Profile of partisan Mordechai Glebocki, aka Shneor Glembotzky.
- Iberlebungen fun a Veloner Krigsgefangenen in Sefer Zikaron le-Kehillat Wielun.
.. Tel Aviv, 1971, pp. 380-384. Testimony of Aryeh Lejb Helfgot.
- Imferno em Sobibor/Portuguese (Hell in Sobibor) by Stanislaw Szmajzner
- Jewish Revolts and Uprisings in the Lublin District
- Long Valley Man's Memoir Tells Heroic Life of Partisan
- “The Polish Underground and the Jews: A Reassessment of Home Army Commander Tadeusz Bor-
.. Komorowski's Order 116 Against Banditry" by John Lowell Armstrong. Cites the testimony of Krasnik
.. partisan Hersz Broner. The Slavonic and East European Review 72, no. 2 (April 1994): 273.
- Rescue of Jews from the Wlodawa Ghetto
- Rise and Fall of Wlodawa - from the Yizkor Book
- Russian Jews and the Sobibor Escape
- Sobibor Survivors' Testimonies
- Understanding the Polish Obsession with Salomon Morel
- Belzec Survivor Braha Rauffmann
- Escape from Sobibor
- Poland, Personally: Featuring Michael Kaftori, Wlodawa Partisan
- Profile of survivors Blaichman and Gruber
- Shmuel Mietek Gruber Video Testimony
- Tribute Video to Cesia and Frank Blaichman & Rose and Joe Holm
- Definitions of Important Terms Related to Jewish Partisans
- Lasting Memory Foundation: Lublin District Commemorations