MOSCOW (Mar. 27)
The role of Jewish partisans operating behind the German lines is emphasized today in Moscow newspapers, including the Polish newspaper Wolna Polska issued by the League of Polish Patriots in Russia.
Wolna Polska carries a report by Dr. Josef Parnas, a prominent leader of the Polish partisan movement who has just arrived in Moscow after many months of guerilla warfare in occupied Poland. The report describes how partisan units of Jews and Poles took revenge on German soldiers and officers for the execution of the entire Jewish population of the town of Wysock, in the western Ukraine.
“There were about 3,000 Jews in the Wysock ghetto,” Dr. Parnes reports. “One day they noticed that two enormous ditches were being dug at the outskirts of the town act far from the ghetto. Fearing the worst, they sent a delegation with gifts to the local German commissar who told them not to worry and assured them that the ditches were being dug for military reasons. The next morning, however, the ghetto was surrounded by Gestapo units and all the Jews were led to the ditches. The procession was headed by the local rabbi who was the first to enter one of the pits, after he delivered a stirring address to the people in a calm and low voice, exhorting them to face their death calmly.”
After all the Jews, including women and children, were executed by machine guns, the Germans “celebrated” the occasion by staging a drinking party in the evening. One of the Polish partisans who was in Wysock and witnessed the execution reported it to Dr. Parnas and his guerilla fighters, who decided to take revenge. A few weeks later they avenged the murdered Jews by killing more than thirty soldiers with hand grenades flung into the German barracks at night and by capturing twelve soldiers.
The twelve Germans were brought to the woods and ordered to dig a ditch. Trembling with fear, they obeyed. When they were later ordered to undress themselves and get into the ditch, the Germans began to weep and to cry hysterically in German: “Comrades: The partisans are good Stalin is good: Hitler is a nuisance” They were executed, however, and left in the ditch.
ORTHODOX JEWS DISTINGUISH THEMSELVES AS PARTISANS
Another Polish newspaper, Nowe Widnokrengi, published in Moscow, today carries a story of how “thirteen bearded orthodox Jews from Pinsk” distinguished themselves in partisan raids on German bases. One of them, although seriously wounded, succeeded in reaching partisan headquarters in the Pinsk region with important information. The thirteen are members of a partisan unit consisting mainly of Jews, the paper says.
Russian newspapers today report that a Jewish partisan leader, named “Pinchuk” has been awarded the Partisan War Medal and the Order of the Red Banner. The citation gave his real name as Baruch Pinkhusovitch.
Pinkhusovitch, who was operating in the occupied Ukraine, started to organize his partisan unit when he was in a German hospital from which he later escaped. He and his band attacked a German prison camp and released all the prisoners capturing rifles and ammunition. Soon his unit numbered several hundred men who were later joined by Russian Cossacks whom the Germans had forced into a “punishment battalion” to fight the partisans. The Cossacks killed their German officers who led them against the guerillas and by joining Pinkhusovitch’s forces, enabled the Red army to cross the Desna River in a later operation.