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2017-01-27 digital edition

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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2018 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


January 27, 2017  RSS feed

Text: T T T

Heroes of the Holocaust, the Bielski brothers’ exhibit returns to museum

Bielski partisans Bielski partisans The Florida Holocaust Museum will present “Courage and Compassion: The Legacy of the Bielski Brothers,” an award-winning exhibition created by the museum that showcases the efforts of three brothers who helped save more than 1,200 people while living in the forest during World War II.

The exhibit was first displayed at the museum in 2008, the same year as the release of the major Hollywood movie, Defiance, which portrayed the heroics of the three brothers, Tuvia, Asael, and Zus Bielski.

One of Tuvia Bielski’s grandsons, Brendon Rennert of Tampa, originally came up with the idea for the exhibit and helped the museum gather artifacts from family members to include. Rennert is now a member of the museum’s Leadership Council.

The exhibit tells the extraordinary story of how the Bielski brothers took refuge from the Nazis in the forests surrounding Novogrudok, Belarus, and there formed a community of men, women and children.

Through their leadership, the group survived starvation, harsh winters, and the threat of the Nazis and their collaborators for two years.

“The Bielski brothers’ Jewish partisan unit, or otriad, as known in Russian, was unique,” said Erin Blankenship, the museum’s curator of exhibitions and collections. “While the great majority of partisan groups in World War II sought to fight the Germans in their midst, the Bielski brothers cared more about preserving the lives of as many Jews as possible than they did about attacking the German forces that occupied Western Belorussia.”

The Bielski brothers have been called “upstanders,” individuals willing to put their own lives in danger on behalf of others.

“Courage and Compassion: The Legacy of the Bielski Brothers” opened Saturday, Jan. 14 and runs through June.

The Florida Holocaust Museum is located at 55 5th Street S. St. Petersburg. For more information, visit or call (727) 820-0100.

For additional “Courage and Compassion: The Legacy of the Bielski Brothers” exhibition information, visit: The FHM’s official exhibition page.

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