Range of Partisans?

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Biber
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Re: Range of Partisans?

Postby Biber » 22 Feb 2017 14:51

Interesting about that red X. The 1 July map puts it a bit lower than the 3 July map. I can't imagine there's anything to it though given the scale of the map and the exigencies of battle. Still, being within a few miles it's in the vicinity. I wonder what happened there? Google maps shows an unassuming subdivision of houses and some farm land. Certainly nothing suggestive that I can see. Though I don't exactly know what I'd be looking for.

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wm
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Re: Range of Partisans?

Postby wm » 22 Feb 2017 20:45

I thought the hill was more likely, it an was excellent defensive position, with commanding view of the road.

In German Military Symbols 1943 they say this:

signal installation.jpg

was a demolished signal installation, which of course explains nothing because such a trifle didn't belong on such a map.
Anyway it seems there were more those military symbols than characters in the Chinese alphabet.
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Biber
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Re: Range of Partisans?

Postby Biber » 22 Feb 2017 21:34

wm wrote:Anyway it seems there were more those military symbols than characters in the Chinese alphabet.


I'll say! I've been through that and similar books quite a lot recently and I have to admit the minutiae of the symbols makes my eyes gloss over. I can't imaging having to learn all those symbols.

Biber
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Re: Range of Partisans?

Postby Biber » 06 Mar 2017 17:34

Update:

This past Saturday was the regional National History Day competition, for which my son presented the story of the young Ukrainian partisan, Motele Schlein, in a first person performance as Motele. He took first place in the junior performance division and first place in a special judging category by the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage. The Maltz Museum prize resulted in a modest cash prize and two public performances, one of which will be as part of their Holocaust Education and Remembrance Day activities in May. On to the state competition at the end of April!!

Just thinking out loud... now that we're off to the state level competition, maybe I need to reevaluate my getting that pricey microfilm. Hmm... I'll let you know...

I offer my sincerest thanks to those who have participated here, helping me to flesh out behind the scenes details behind Motele's story. Thanks to your help Ive been able to judiciously guide my son as he researched this project. Thank you again, I certainly couldn't have done it with out you most generous help.

BarKokhba
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Re: Range of Partisans?

Postby BarKokhba » 07 Mar 2017 01:26

Biber, congrats to your son! So after all his (and your) research, what is your conclusion about the young Jewish partisan and the bombing incident? Was it presented as fact, fiction, or somewhere in between? Have you videod the presentaion and posted it on YouTube?

Biber
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Re: Range of Partisans?

Postby Biber » 07 Mar 2017 15:37

Hi -

The parameters of the contest are a that he has only 10 minutes for his presentation (the contest theme is "taking a stand") followed by an interview. The Interview was mostly intended to ensure that he owned his project and that the research wasn't done for him. He started with a very brief overview about the situation - Germans advancing east, exterminating Jews, some Jews escaped and took up arms. Then he went into his "play" as Motele preparing in the basement storage room for his last performance. He explained what he was doing then reflected back on how he got there and what had happened to his family. With an "I'd better be getting upstairs" he finished up with a reflection on the cook and pianist who endeared them selves to him. He then broke character and told of Motele's death less than a month later, and the preservation and restoration of Motele's violin, which was donated to Yad Vashem on the condition that be played. He concluded with "Through its restoration, "Motele’s violin serves as a tangible reminder for future generations of the extraordinary loss and courageous efforts of thousands who took a stand against the unthinkable acts of the Holocaust." In all it was a quite moving presentation and even elicited tears from the Maltz Museum judges. One of the judges remarked at the end of his performance: “I am Ukrainian, that is my story!”

I did post a video on YouTube of a rehearsal at school last week for our east coast family, but we're working on a more polished version which I'll link to when its available. Probably early next week.

My impression about the whole story, given all that has been discussed here and elsewhere, is that an explosion almost surely did happen, but that there likely weren't as many casualties as intended. I just haven't found any corroboration in secondary sources. Yet that is. There are still lots of places to look, probably some that I don't even know about yet. So the learning curve is complicating it a bit. Nevertheless, just because I (me, myself and I) cannot confirm anything doesn't mean it didn't happen. I will not be so bold as to go there. If I do confirm it, though, I'll be all over it. Yep, ALL over that. So stay tuned, I'll post a video soon hopefully. In the mean time the Cleveland History Center has posted some fotos on their facebook page. There's a few of my son - he's the one with the violin.

BarKokhba
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Re: Range of Partisans?

Postby BarKokhba » 08 Mar 2017 04:38

A happy conclusion to a sad story. I wonder what the effect of all this raw information has been on your son. Hopefully he'll be a mensch like his dad...

Biber
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Re: Range of Partisans?

Postby Biber » 09 Mar 2017 15:05

Thank you. Not being Jewish myself I think I know what that means. Actually, my sincerest hope is that my son survives my parenting and becomes a better person than me. But that's another topic...

He doesn't seem to be overly affected by it. Atleast he doesn't seem to have much of an emotional reaction (We on the other hand have difficult time watching him do his presentation without getting choked up and teary eyed. It's just the thought of it.) Perhaps he's more focused on the performance and the gravity of what he is actually saying hasn't hasn't sunk in.) Either way still he gives a very moving performance. Throughout this process we've been careful about his exposure to the more graphic elements. Given the nature of his topic he wasn't really able to stick with juvenile sources, which others (classmates) doing History Day projects were limited to. So we explored the source materials with him, explaining and discussing where necessary. The printed sources for the most part weren't so bad to deal with, it was the videos that gave us pause. There was one, I think it was a History Channel video about the Bielsky brothers, that we said "ah... no" to. He's eleven afterall. Perhaps we shouldn't have, and taken the opportunity to deal with it, but we did. We opted instead for a very similar PBS video.

Anyway, I hope eventually to have a video link of his presentation to share. Yesterday's video session didn't go as I had hoped. Word of advice: never think that friends you as a favor of will do what you want. Heavy sigh... Stay tuned.

Biber
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Re: Range of Partisans?

Postby Biber » 13 Mar 2017 17:04

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqEbLOulbIE

We are just a few months shy of having lived with and worked on Motele’s story for a year now, and it has been an interesting and tremendously moving journey. Hardly a day has gone by that we haven’t mentioned Motele in one way or another, such has been our son’s investment in this project. From clues given in the Motele story, we think that he may have been born in late September or early October, and, as our son’s Birthday is October 12, I offer the observation that he is the same age at which Motele had his family was taken from him and he took to the forest on his own (Jan/Feb 1942). I suspect that over the next year and a half as our son heads toward his 12th and 13th birthdays we’ll continue to see him through the lens of Motele and note milestones in the story.

Biber
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Re: Range of Partisans?

Postby Biber » 19 May 2017 16:32

Update:

I received the NARA microfilm of the Korueck 580 records and I've been through the parts pertinent to my time frame twice now, and I'll probably soon do a third run through. Sadly I haven't found anything of use with regard to the event in Ovruch I'm trying to confirm. The film covers Korueck 580 records for July -September 1943, and Ovruch isn't even mentioned until the later part of September. Most of the reports pertain to road and rail security, with a few field reports of engaging with "bandits" and on the strength of forces and a few quartermaster-type memos. I found nothing pertaining to sabotage of any civilian/military facilities inside of Ovruch. I'll keep looking though in case something got by me, at least a couple more times through the film before I give up. Anybody have any suggestions as to where to go from here?

Where might I find records on a lower level than the Korueck level administration - specifically F.K.549 and O.K. 1/327?

An update on my son's project and the NDH competition: Sadly his project didn't make it past the state level, and frankly I'm a very perturbed as to how the judging went. Would you believe one of the judges actually asked my son if he felt the young Jewish partisan felt remorse for blowing up the soldiers' club? I've been on a slow simmer ever since the competition and was hoping the judging sheets would clear things up a bit, but they sure didn't. Incredibly the judge wrote on the comment sheet “What Motele did was very brave and you did a nice job of relaying why he did what he did, I would have liked to have heard if there were Jews that thought it was best not to resist or disagreed with the methods of the resistance.” Seriously?!! Just got an email off to the state coordinator this morning. It'll be interesting to hear what she says about it.

But, by not moving on to the national competition in Maryland in June I (selfishly) kind of feel like we've dodged a bullet - don't have to make an 8+ hour drive with an enormous steamer trunk in the back of the car obstructing my rear view the whole way. So, we're vacationing a week later at Williamsburg, with side trips to Jamestown and Yorktown.


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