Friday, August 19, 2011

You Can Help Honor Jewish Partisans

One of the questions our curators, historians, and educators are asked often is why Jews didn’t fight back during the Holocaust. To answer that question and honor the brave men and women who took up arms or fought back with other actions, we opened an exhibit in 2007 called Daring to Resist: Jewish Defiance in the Holocaust. Now it is your turn to help recognize these individuals.

Our colleagues at the Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation (JPEF) are currently working diligently to expand their database of partisans and partisan families, and to this end are reaching out to the community to help locate individuals.
Scott Polach, the Partisan Family Liaison, writes:

Speaking with living partisans, whose numbers are unfortunately dwindling, is an important part of our work in keeping the legacy of these individuals alive, and we could use your assistance. We're having the sons and daughter of partisans contact those still with us, and the stories we're hearing from these elderly survivors are incredible. It's helping us connect families and piece together a more complete history of the partisans, a history which has largely been untold.

In case you're not familiar with our organization, the Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation (JPEF) is the only organization worldwide that preserves the legacy of the partisans by providing free materials for schools and synagogues about the partisan history and legacy. Our educational materials are used in over 5,000 schools and synagogues.

JPEF is having a celebration this November in New York City to honor all the partisans. We’re bringing together as many partisans and their families as we are able to find to celebrate their legacy. This promises to be the largest gathering of partisans in memory, with our list of attending partisans growing daily.

We've released a PSA featuring Larry King, Liev Schreiber, Edward Zwick to aid with our search, and the results have been great with over 40 new partisan names coming this week alone! You could help us spread the word on Facebook by sharing the link to our video on our wall.

Any help you could offer in spreading the PSA or locating partisan families would be immensely appreciated.

For more information, visit or email

image: A group of Jewish partisans in the Rudniki forest, near Vilna, between 1942 and 1944. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

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