by Jina Bacarr
I was stunned by their courage, their tenacity, their–
A strong word that denotes an urgent movement, a push, a stand, a fight to the death if necessary. And so it was in 1941 in the bone-chilling forests of Belarus, alive with the hopes of three brothers who were determined to fight and survive. This is their story of–
Imagine you arrive home to discover your worst fears have come true. Your parents are taken away and eventually murdered by the Nazis. What would you do? You’ve lost your home, your life. Your country overrun with Hitler’s war machine, goosestepping its way through every village and town, ravishing and raping your land, your women. Your life is in danger, your future bleak. But you’re young, strong, you have everything to live for.
So you fight. But not alone. Others join you and your brothers. You make a stand in the forest, building a secret village, a base camp equipped with camouflaged sleeping dugouts, facilities for cooking, a mill, a bakery for making bread, bathing areas, a schoolhouse, health clinics and a theater. You arm your people, teaching them how to fight, to survive, determined not to allow your very existence to be annihilated by the madman racing across Europe.
I’ll return with podcasts next month, but on this Veterans’ Day when our own troops are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, let us take a moment to honor all veterans, soldier and civilian alike, who have resisted tyranny.
We owe them so much.