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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars utterly fantastic
This is an awe-inspiring story of unbelievable courage. I would have sworn it was fiction had I not known it was a true story; that these three brothers managed to save over 1000 people in the forests of Belarus is simply amazing.

The author does an excellent job of portraying the Bielski brothers not as one dimensional "larger than life" figures, but as human...
Published on 22 May 2007 by Soru Takahashi

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing.
If you have read Defiance there is no need to read this book. It adds nothing and isn't as comprehensive.
Published on 15 Nov 2010 by Sus


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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars utterly fantastic, 22 May 2007
This review is from: The Bielski Brothers (Paperback)
This is an awe-inspiring story of unbelievable courage. I would have sworn it was fiction had I not known it was a true story; that these three brothers managed to save over 1000 people in the forests of Belarus is simply amazing.

The author does an excellent job of portraying the Bielski brothers not as one dimensional "larger than life" figures, but as human beings with faults and failings. Still, it is a great tragedy that the brothers were never recognised as the accomplished heros they were; one of them died in the Red Army shortly after the camp was disbanded, and the other two died anonymous immigrants in the United States.

Even people who haven't the slightest interest in the Holocaust or in WW2 will be inspired by the amazing story in this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing., 15 Nov 2010
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This review is from: The Bielski Brothers (Paperback)
If you have read Defiance there is no need to read this book. It adds nothing and isn't as comprehensive.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jews Survive WWII In Forest Camps, 21 Jun 2010
By 
P. Waterston "Philip" (England, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Bielski Brothers (Hardcover)
With WWII and Nazis, Germans and others advancing through Poland and Belorussia the local Jewish populations suffered persecution and executions on a massive scale. During the roundup of Jewish people some escaped into local forests to survive. This book tells the story of a community established by the brothers of the Bielski family; how they built camps, moved from place to place, set up workshops, organised employment, provided a haven for many, defended themselves and survived with about 1,200 people in number by the end of the fighting.
The book is a well written history for people of many ages to read with details on the Bielskis and what was going on generally within the area. Further notes at the back may be of interest for those who want to read more about the subject.

NOTE: This book by Peter Duffy is exactly the same as his other book "Brothers In Arms" with a different publisher. Don't buy them both unless you want more than one copy of the same book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bought it for a relative, he seemed to really enjoy it., 20 Jan 2010
This review is from: The Bielski Brothers (Paperback)
It said it was a good book and he couldnt put it down. BTW this was for a grandparent who is very interested in History.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Hardly a plaque bears their names.", 6 July 2003
By 
Mary Whipple (New England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Bielski Brothers (Hardcover)
When the Germans finally retreated from Belarus in the summer of 1944, almost twelve hundred Jewish survivors of the Holocaust shocked the world by materializing from the forest where they had lived in hiding during the German occupation. Tuvia, Asael, and Zus Bielski, three brothers, had managed to establish a well-organized community in the forest which lasted for almost three years, protecting hundreds of Jewish citizens while wreaking havoc on their German occupiers. Author Peter Duffy places this extraordinary story of survival in context by describing the Bielskis’ lives and achievements, quoting from Tuvia Bielski’s previously unknown journal, and revealing the sociopolitical history, including the anti-Semitism, of Belarus, a region south of Lithuania.
In establishing their forest community, open to all Jews, the Bielskis had to fight "wars" on four fronts: the immediate threat from the Germans and the local police; the danger from local peasants and collaborators; the suspicions of Soviet partisans who questioned whether the Bielskis were sufficiently dedicated to their cause; and most of all, internal dissension. This was no "utopian community of enlightened democratic and egalitarian governance," and many readers may cringe at the extremes to which the leadership occasionally resorted in order to eliminate dissension.
At its height, the forest village consisted of long, camouflaged dugouts for sleeping, a large kitchen, mill, bakery, bathhouse, tannery, school, jail, theater, and two medical facilities. Tailors, seamstresses, shoemakers, watchmakers, carpenters, mechanics, and experts in demolition provided the 1200-member community with necessary skills, and about sixty cows and thirty horses provided food and transportation. Many of the men served as part of the armed contingent which secured food and engaged in sabotage and the murder of Germans officials.
By concentrating on one family and its life during the war, Duffy creates a powerful documentary about Jewish life. Breaking the narrative into six-month installments, he details the progress of the war throughout the region, relentlessly revealing cold statistics--the thousands of people killed in a single ghetto in a single day. As the numbers mount, the reader’s horror at the immense scale of the genocide grows, the victims’ utter helplessness becomes obvious, and the reader’s amazement at the Bielskis’ achievement increases. None of the Bielski brothers ever received public recognition for these heroic efforts, and Duffy’s attempts to rectify this historical omission by telling their story will resonate with readers. Mary Whipple
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4.0 out of 5 stars An incredible story of courage and commitment to others. ..., 28 Nov 2014
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This review is from: The Bielski Brothers (Paperback)
An incredible story of courage and commitment to others. A book everyone should read at some point in their lives as it shows hope and decency can overcome the most monstrous barbarism. Only downside for me was the writing style. There is no flow to it, just stop, start which makes it a bit frustrating to read. The author is never able to portray the depth you feel when watching the film which is a bit disappointing.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Great real story, the book a disappointment, 9 May 2013
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This review is from: The Bielski Brothers (Hardcover)
I was very excited to read the book. I knew the story, watched the movie and hoped the book would give new experience.
Unfortunately, the author often mixes up historical facts and is clearly biased towards towards Polish and other "gentile" groups.
At one point he goes as far as accusing general Bor-Komorowski, a top Polish commander of issueing an order to exterminate Jewish partisans (p. 232) Such claim has no base in facts. In fact Polish Resistance movement often helped the Jewish partisan groups. [...]

It would be much better if the author stuck to the story and contained himself from commenting on history and from including lies.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Bielski Brothers, 20 Jan 2012
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This review is from: The Bielski Brothers (Paperback)
Thw book arrived in time, beautifully packed in cardboard and lovely shiny cover. The book itself is a wonderful read, illustrating some peoples' determination in the face of extreme horrors. It is all the adjectives one can imagine without sounding too gushing. Not enough is written about the patriots, both Jewish and nationalists, who fought the nazis. How they were successful and the lengths of ingenuity man is capable of providing during times of adversity. Read it and enjoy it. CCR
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Bielski Brothers Story., 15 Dec 2010
By 
Mr. B. C. Jarman "BCJay" (Preston Lancashire. UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Bielski Brothers (Paperback)
I bought the book after watching the Film "Defiance" on the telly,the author Peter Duffy captures the events much better than the film could,once you start reading it is hard to put the book down,the three brothers were real life heroes.A brilliant book well recommended.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars never again, 16 Jan 2010
By 
C. J. H. Visschedijk (The Netherlands) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Bielski Brothers (Paperback)
The Bielski brothers kept anti-semitism from locals and from the German oppressors at bay by reacting fiercely and effectively at each transgression. They were not guided by hatred, but by vengeance. Not much of what happened in the woods of Belorussia was or could be recorded at the time. This book is a composition of what survivors who had been witnesses of this cruel period in history or who had been in the woods with the Bielski brothers could tell the author.
The Bielski Brothers once and for all put an end to the myth that European Jewry went as lambs to their slaughter.
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The Bielski Brothers by Peter Duffy (Paperback - 26 Jun 2004)
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