Faye with Old Friends, Forest near Lenin, Winter, 1944 [Source: JPEF / A Partisan’s Memoir, Second Story Press]


The Wartime Photographs of Jewish Partisan Faye Schulman

On April 14th, 2010 Pictures of Resistance: The Wartime Photography of Faye Schulman was presented to a full house at Brandeis University for its Boston debut. This rare collection of images by the only known Jewish partisan photographer gave attendees a rare look into the world of the Jewish partisan resistance fighters who resisted the Germans and their collaborators during WWII. The photos were presented alongside the stories behind each of the images – stories of heroism, bravery, camaraderie and loss – as recounted by the partisan photographer herself.

The event also featured a multimedia presentation by Zvi Bielski, son of the late Jewish partisan leader, Zus Bielski. Bielski recalled his childhood growing up in the famous, and sometimes infamous, family of resistance fighters that were immortalized in the recent Hollywood film Defiance. "Growing up I had no idea the Jews actually lost the war. Sure, I knew relatives had died in the war, but I figured they all died fighting the Nazis like my dad and uncles had." The Bielski brigade saved over 1,200 individuals whose offspring today number in the tens of thousands. Bielski regaled the audience with these stories of his family's heroism, of rescue and survival against the toughest odds, eliciting audible reactions from the audience throughout the evening. Some were even moved to tears.

"Often we hear of Jews as victims, but the stories portrayed in the exhibit spoke of Jews as heroes," said Hornstein student Jessica Levine. "It gave me a new, different Holocaust story to tell, one of resistance and resilience. It made me feel proud to be a Jew."

This event was made possible by the Brandeis-Genesis Institute for Russian Jewry, The HornsteinJewish Professional Leadership Program, Brandeis Chabad, Thomas and Johanna Baruch, the Epstein/Routh Foundation, the Purjes Foundation, the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture, the Holocaust Council of MetroWest, and Diane and Howard Wohl. The exhibit was curated by Jill Vexler, Ph.D. and produced by the Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation.

For more information about the exhibit, please visit www.jewishpartisans.org/exhibit