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Document Shows Jews Played Significant Role in Lithuanian Partisan Forces

A document attesting to the very significant part played by Jewish partisans in the struggle against the Nazis in Lithuania has been published here for the first time in a doctoral dissertation on “Jewish Participation in Lithuania in the Struggle Against the Germans During the Second World War” delivered at the Hebrew University by Dov Levin. The document, written in Russian, gives personal details on each of the 76 men and women partisans in the “Struggle” Brigade. Cited are details not only on the military activities of the Brigade’s members, but also on their nationality, their civilian occupations, their education. Dated August 7, 1944, it is signed by the Brigade’s commanding officer, a Ukrainian Jewish captain, whose Jewish origins were known only to some of those who served under him, and by the assistant to the Chief of Staff of the Lithuanian partisan movement. Dr. Levin received the document some years ago from a former partisan, today an Israeli citizen who wishes to remain anonymous, who brought it with him from Russia. In analyzing this information, Dr. Levin-himself a former partisan–found that 80 percent of the Brigade was Jewish, with almost all the other members being Russian. The proportion of Jewish women involved was eight times larger than that of the non-Jewish women, while Jews had also served the longest within the Brigade’s ranks. However, only three of its eleven officers were Jewish, since the Jewish members had little experience in military training as compared with their non-Jewish colleagues.

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