How Soviet Jewish Soldiers Met the Challenges of War

Dec 2015
3,243
USA
#1
Great article here showcasing historic testimonials from the WW2 era,

When Major Isaak Chizhik was asked if he was scared of the danger he was facing, he replied: "Believe me: I don't want to die. I have three sons. But I don't want people to say that Jews are cowards."

Isaak Chizhik was born in Ukraine in the small town of Vasilkov, not far from Kiev. In February 1919, when he was 12 years old, his mother and father were both killed in a pogrom carried out by the Ukrainian Army. In 1920, after the end of the Russian Civil War in Russia, the lonely orphan was placed in a penal colony for young criminals. After his release, he worked at a factory in Kiev until he was drafted into the Red Army in 1929; he then decided to become a professional soldier. There was logic to this decision: Since a military career had been quite impossible for Jews before the Revolution, it subsequently attracted many young Jews once the communists had paved the way for equal opportunity.

How Soviet Jewish Soldiers Met the Challenges of War
 
Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
#2
Great article here showcasing historic testimonials from the WW2 era,

When Major Isaak Chizhik was asked if he was scared of the danger he was facing, he replied: "Believe me: I don't want to die. I have three sons. But I don't want people to say that Jews are cowards."

Isaak Chizhik was born in Ukraine in the small town of Vasilkov, not far from Kiev. In February 1919, when he was 12 years old, his mother and father were both killed in a pogrom carried out by the Ukrainian Army. In 1920, after the end of the Russian Civil War in Russia, the lonely orphan was placed in a penal colony for young criminals. After his release, he worked at a factory in Kiev until he was drafted into the Red Army in 1929; he then decided to become a professional soldier. There was logic to this decision: Since a military career had been quite impossible for Jews before the Revolution, it subsequently attracted many young Jews once the communists had paved the way for equal opportunity.

How Soviet Jewish Soldiers Met the Challenges of War
Just so. For some reason, this kind of thing is, not as well known as it deserves to be, imo.

Jews in no way cowards during the Shoah. They resisted in any way they could. This ranged from the passive resistance of running a school in the ghetto (punishable by death) to joining partisan groups, to actual uprisings, such as in the Warsaw ghetto, to spitting in the Nazis' eye s by simply surviving,

My favourite act of defiance is that led by The Bielski brothers in Belarus; they helped over 1100 jews survive in the forest, where they were sometimes obliged to fight the Nazis or their collaborators.

A pretty good film , called 'Defiance' with Daniel Craig and Liev Schreiber.

The link below is to a documentary which isn't bad. Picture quality isn't terrific

 

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