Approximate Jewish Partisan activity marked in yellow.
Poland

While some Jews fled to the forests at the time of the Nazi occupation of Poland in 1939, greater numbers of Jewish partisans fled the ghettos in 1943-1944, when the liquidation began. The Nazis were only one enemy hunting the Polish Jewish partisans-local Polish extremists and the fascist element of the AK hunted them as well.

Because of the widespread Nazi hunts for escaped Jews, and centuries old antisemitism among some locals, many Polish Jewish partisans sought affiliation with Polish partisan groups. This was a difficult and dangerous task-a Jewish partisan could be robbed of his weapon, or killed for approaching a partisan unit. However, numerous Polish partisan units welcomed Jews, such as the People's Guard. In the Generalgouvernement area of Poland (divided into four districts Warsaw, Cracow, Radom, and Lublin), hundreds of Jewish partisans belonged to Polish units of the People's Guard, to the Home Army (AK), and to other groups. Considerable numbers of these Jewish partisans operated in commando units, and dozens of Jews took leadership roles as commanders.

Jews also fought as partisans in all-Jewish units, such as the ZOB (the Jewish Fighting Organization), which was active throughout occupied Poland. Against incredible odds, thousands of Polish Jewish partisans fought back, and most lost their lives. Many did not expect to survive, as reflected in the motto of one Jewish partisan group: "For those who seek life, we are not the address."

Sheltered in the forests, Polish Jewish partisans created camps as their bases.  These camps were of two types: "family" camps, which provided protection for those Jews could not fight, such as some women, children and the elderly, and partisan camps, which traveled lightly, and moved frequently. In the Nalibocka forest in eastern Poland, as many as 3,000 Jews, in all-Jewish units, were among 20,000 partisans resisting the Germans.

Find out who the partisans were and how they fought the Nazis. Go to the Films section to view the film that compliments this study guide.

Not a study guide at all, but a document for communities wanting to acknowledge the intenet of Holoucast Rememberacne Day as it was started in Israel, in 1951. Includes a brief history and reading.

Learn how the partisans fought hunger and survived the harsh winter cold. How did they survive? Go to the Films section to view the film that compliments this study guide.

Learn how a determined Ben helped initially free 600 Jews from a Nazi work camp. Go to the Films section to view the film that compliments this study guide.

Find out how a woman partisan earns one of the Soviet Unions highest honors. Go to the Films section to view the film that compliments this study guide.

Meet Frank, a determined fighter who escaped the ghettos and valiantly fought against his oppressors. Go to the Films section to view the film that compliments this study guide.

Many Jews suffered from antisemtism in the partisans, even though they were fighting a common enemy. Read this study guide to learn about the role antisemitism played in and out of the partisan units and how it differed from region to region.