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Daring to Resist

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Faye learns to use a rifle

  Nazi death squad commander
Nazi death squad commander

faye lazebnik schulman
The War Years

When the Nazis invaded Lenin in 1941, Faye's family was imprisoned in a ghetto. Her two older brothers were sent to Nazi slave-labor camps. The Nazis exterminated the entire ghetto population, sparing only Faye and a handful of other Jews with useful skills.

After the liquidation of Lenin, the Nazis gave Faye films to develop, and she made extra copies. One of the pictures she kept as a testament to Nazi attrocities was a scene of the trench where the Nazis dumped bodies of her family and the rest of the Jews in the Lenin ghetto.

With her family dead, Faye no longer feared that her escape would endanger others. During a partisan raid on her town, Faye ran away and joined the Molotova partisan brigade.

"This was the only way I could fight back
and revenge my family."

 

In the partisans, Faye learned nursing and took up arms as a fighter. She took pictures to document the two years in which her brigade fought and hid in the woods along the Russian-Polish border. Throughout the war, she demonstrated her fierce will to resist the Nazi war machine.

"When it was time to be hugging a boyfriend,
I was hugging a rifle. Now I said to myself, my life is changed. I learned how to look after the wounded. I even learned how to make operations."

Faye's partisan brigade raided her own village several times to restock food, medicine and weapons. In perhaps her ultimate commitment to resistance, during one of these raids, she ordered the partisans to burn her own house down. "I won't be living here. The family's killed. To leave it for the enemy? I said right away: Burn it!"

Faye and partisan friend
Faye and partisan friend

 

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