| Page 9 | Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation

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Faye Schulman, partisan fighter and photographer, with commander on a boat as they head off on a mission that would lead them near Nazi areas. Photo taken by fellow partisan.

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A self-portrait of photographer Julia Diament Pirotte. Pirotte grew up in a working class Jewish family in Warsaw. In the 1930's she emigrated to Belgium, where she married and studied photography. After the German occupation of Belgium and the depor

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Faye Schulman, partisan fighter and photographer, with other Jewish Partisans who she knew from before the war. They were acting as messengers for another partisan brigade. Faye says she was, "happy that there are three Jewish boys fighting."

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Cover of the underground Yiddish newspaper, Jugend Shtimme (Voice of the Youth), which was distributed in the Warsaw Ghetto. The Yiddish caption reads "Fascism must be smashed!"

Partisans Like Me

Below are questions answered by many of the Jewish partisans JPEF interviewed. Check and uncheck any answer or combination of answers, then scroll down to see which partisans answered like you did. Click their photo to find out more about them.

Partisan Hideout

Many Jewish partisans in Eastern Europe lived in underground bunkers called zemlyankas (Russian for "dugout"): small, primitive shelters that provided a living and hiding space, sometimes for dozens of people, even through freezing winters.

Click and drag in the window below to explore a virtual model of Shalom Yoran's zemlyanka that he built and lived in with four other men in the winter of 1942.

Europe (Overview)

1937 borders. Approximate areas of Jewish partisan activity marked in yellow.

Approximately 30,000 Jews throughout Eastern and Western Europe -- many of them teens -- fought back during the Holocaust as Jewish partisans.

Harry Burger

Biography

Harry Burger was born on May 10th, 1924 in Vienna, Austria. The Burger family was affluent and lived a comfortable life until 1938, when Germany annexed Austria and the German Nuremberg laws were put into effect there. Harry's family escaped into France, hoping to flee German rule, but their plans were dashed when France was conquered by Germany in 1940. Harry's father was arrested and sent to Auschwitz. Meanwhile, Harry and his mother were moved to a makeshift ghetto in Nice, France. Their one stroke of luck was that the Italian army, which was not abusive to Jews, occupied Nice. When the Italians left France, Harry, his mother and 700 other Jews followed them into Italy. When they arrived at an Italian fort, Harry learned the Nazis were en route to collect the Jews. Harry and his mother escaped capture, while more than 350 of the others were taken by the Nazis.

Approximate area of partisan activity for

Harry and his mother were living in a barn on the Italian-French border when he was approached by a group of Italian soldiers. Harry asked if he could join them. On the spot, the soldier issued Harry a rifle. In this fashion, he became a partisan in the First Alpine Division, where he used his fluency in German to interrogate captured soldiers. Initially, the First Alpine Division was under-equipped; they eventually received Allied support in the form of airdropped munitions and clothing. One of the First Alpine's most important tasks was the sabotage of German electric capabilities. In Northern Italy the train system was electrically powered, so the destruction of local electric plants seriously hindered German mobility.

After the war, Harry was reunited with his mother and returned to France. He stayed in France for five years, working as a photographer. In 1950, Harry immigrated to the United States, eventually finding photography work with two prominent television networks. Harry has one child and four grandchildren.

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