Hi all; Another interesting look into the Red Partisan phenomenon of WWII-"The Warriors: My life as a Jewish Soviet Partisan" by Harold Zissman. The late author was born Hersh "Grysha" Cuckierman in Poland. He and his family fled Eastward during the first Hitlerite incursions but found themselves engulfed in the horrors of Hitlerite ethnic insanity with the advent of Barbarossa. The book mostly focuses on 1942 and here is fascinating snapshot of an insurgency in it's infancy. Grysha's commander was a one armed peasant nomme de guerre of "Bullak" who initially welcomed the Jewish initiates and gave them training and armed them with weapons salvaged from a river bottom. It was this same Bullak who armed and trained the famous Dr Atlas group. In August of 1942 Bullak's guerrillas took the town of Derechin in now Belarus. They held it only for a couple of months-nothing remarkable until you consider that the Soviets did not start seriously supporting the rebels until the Fall of 1942. Did the taking of Derechin play a part in Stalin's decision to fully support Red Partisan movement? Almost certainly! With the coming of Soviet supplies and trainers that Fall of 1942 there came also a rise in Anti Semitism. Commander Bullak himself-who the author seems to have deeply admired-became a hard handed tyrant with his Jewish combatants and the author was concerned that he might be shot out of hand for some trivial offense. This is not surprising as it has been said from this and other sources that Great Russian Chauvenism was on the rise during this time frame (and that it came right from the top). Later in the book-Winter of 1944 time frame- the author recounts a Red Partisan drive towards the Lithuanian border that ended with the rout of the Partisan forces. This fits with the RKKA pattern of using their behind the lines troopers to cause as much mayhem as possible before an offensive. Operation Bagration would not have been the huge victory it was but for the efforts of Grysha and others like him. JeffinMNUSA Zissman Obituary; Zissman, Harold - Chicago Tribune Partisan wars; Soviet Partisans in WW2 Jewish role in Partisans suppressed-Great Russian ethnic chauvinism; http://www.ukrainianstudies.uottawa.ca/pdf/P_Rudling_Danyliw07.pdf Forests of Eastern Europe; Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine: forest cover - Maps and Graphics at UNEP/GRID-Arendal Harold Zissman; The warriors: my life as a Jewish ... - Google Books What is so interesting about this battle is that it occurred in August of 1942. Welcome to the Deretchin Site The Jews of Bielorussia during World ... - Google Books Amazon.com: Jews of Bielorussia During Wwi (Harwood Academic Publishers) (9789057021930): CHOLAWSKY: Books Derechin, Belarus (Pages 4-12) Guestbook Archive 091108 http://books.google.com/books?id=Dq...6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=battle of derechin&f=false http://books.google.com/books?id=4O...Q6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=partisans bryansk&f=false Correction; The Partisan conference was held in MAY of 1942. Grysha did not notice a difference until the Fall of that year and the change was not all that positive. The author also estimates that only 10% of the people in the family camps in the Derechin sector survived the war. PS. The author also makes comment about the Russian fondness for VODKA, and how he was detailed with "watching the store" while his comrades were risking the entire command by whooping it up in a war zone. It would have had to have been harrowing duty-standing on guard while your comrades in arms were incapacited and knowing that an Axis attack could end it all. PS. More on Derechin, Bulak and etc; http://www.aish.com/ho/p/48951191.html This account is somewhat at odds with book as Zissman was in a mixed unit manning a Maxim Machine Gun during the Derechin attack. WHat is interesting here is that the ghetto had just been wiped out and most of the attackers had lost family to the people they were fighting. So intense was the desire for revenge that the old and feeble were clamoring to come along with sticks.