As numbers dwindle, Jews who fought Nazis recall struggle

Source: Associated Press

By ARON HELLER

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KFAR SABA, Israel (AP) — While most of his fellow Jews were being killed or brutalized in Nazi death camps and ghettos, Baruch Shub and his friends were hiding in the forests of the former Soviet Union, trying to undermine the Nazis by derailing trains, burning bridges, sabotaging communication lines and killing the occasional collaborator.

“You couldn’t really fight the German army, given our means, but we did our best to disrupt them,” recalled the 94-year-old Shub at his retirement home in central Israel. “Whether or not it made a difference, I don’t know. But it gave me a great sense of joy that at least I was doing something to get even with them.”

As Israel marks its annual Holocaust memorial day, those aging survivors who actively resisted and helped shape the country’s fighting spirit are quickly disappearing. Shub is among perhaps only a handful of remaining Soviet partisan fighters. Only two remain from the greatest symbol of resistance of all — the 1943 Warsaw ghetto uprising.

Israel will come to a standstill Thursday for its annual remembrance of the Holocaust’s 6 million victims. It falls on the same date on the Hebrew calendar as the Warsaw uprising — the ultimately doomed revolt that played such an important role in defining the country’s psyche.

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