02 March 2009

I am Bielski

تنسيق-الكليات-لعام سكس نيك كس

I thought that Liev Schreiber [playing my father, Zus] stole the show,” Jay Bielski recounted. “Zus was impulsive and wanted to get revenge and to kill as many Germans as possible, while Tuvia thought they couldn’t defeat the German killing machine and should try to save as many Jews as possible… He [Schreiber] really got Zus’s personality correct and portrayed him well.”

Jakow believes that his father’s experience as a partisan can be summed up in a line found in his parents’ Yad Vashem testimony, recorded in 1979. When asked to describe his daily life, Zus responded: “It consisted of eating, drinking and planning how to kill Germans.”

Jakow is certainly a proud fighter like his father, a trait he has passed down to his children — he served in the U.S. Marine Corps and also fought for Israel in the Yom Kippur War of 1973. His two grown sons, Matthew and Elan, both made aliyah and live in Israel; Matthew served as a special forces paratrooper for the Israel Defense Forces; Elan is currently a paratrooper in the IDF.

Matthew Bielski, DoubleTapper and Elan Bielski

According to Jakow, the movie’s portrayal is remarkably accurate, except for some small details — names of characters, ages and other minor variations — which were changed with the permission of family members. If anything was distorted, it is the fact that “the movie is not one thousandth as brutal as what actually happened in real life,” he says proudly. “My father killed 67 people, anybody who turned in Jews, and he had no respect for any Germans. I told the director I wanted to see high body counts for my father in the movie.”

“Defiance” Director and Producer Edward Zwick met with family members and consulted with them several times during the making of the movie and long before he began filming.

“I was very happy with how it came out,” Jakow said. “It also just opened in Israel about a week ago and it is being sold out.”

After the movie was released in New York, he made T-shirts for his extended family that read ‘I am Bielski,’ — one of his favorite lines from the movie — on one side, and ‘Defiance’ on the other.

Related Post: Bielskis in IDF

More here

Bielski Survivors and their descendants.


belsky said...

Just to fill in on some details; I grew up after the War with Zus and Tuvia; I'm Zus and Sonia's son. I am named after my father’s brother and my mother’s brother, both Yaakovs, who were murdered by the Nazis, I am Yaakov; how fitting. Defiance captures the impulsivity of Zus and the wisdom of Tuvia. None of the Bielskis were petty criminals prior to the War that was made up in the movie as an explanation why they had, and still propagate via their children and grandchildren, aggressive skills. The reality was that they lived in a small village and had a mill which converted wheat and other products into cooking fares (breads). Growing up they had to defend themselves and their business from the locals. They were always a family team, 9 brothers and 2 sisters, and also had many non Jewish friends who helped them during the Holocaust. They developed a reputation before the War that "you shouldn't mess with the Bielskis because you are sure to lose" a quote by Aron Bell Bielski. As the environment grew more hostile against Jews and the Bielskis in particular, the ante was raised and so was their response to it, ruthlessness and compassion. The Defiance movie did not show Bielskis' enemies’ heads being axed (Jerusalem in the Woods, The History Channel 11/06). The Bielskis gave the death penalty to captured Nazis by grenades as each Nazi watched his fellows get blown up knowing that he will be next. "It was very smelly" said Shula Rubin in The Bielski Partisans a documentary by Kumar 1996. Many unmentionable acts were done without remorse by the Bielski Otriad (excluding the massacre fallacy of Naliboki, which falsely accuses the Bielski of killing civilians unnecessarily). Remember what would you do if they killed your mother and father, your brothers, your wife and daughter? Zus never considered his revenge disproportionate nor did he consider Israel's responses to the killing of Israelis ever disproportionate. He told me many times, THEY, will only understand the stick. The THEY change over time in the Jewish experience, was our response to Egyptian slavery disproportionate, after all many died of the plagues and sea? I think that whether by choice or coincidence Mr. Zwick prioritized Tuvia as the Moses figure and Zus as David, of Goliath fame. This inadvertently (?)points to disproportionate responses are necessary to maintain Jewish life. Between me and you if the Bielskis’ Defiance movie has any positive influence on Israeli gov’t a more assertive and permanent solution would already be in place both politically and militarily. Defiance was not intended to directly comment on Israeli policies it intended to show that all Jews are capable and obligated to live and be defiant to anyone who threatens our existence, anytime, anywhere. ‘I am Bielski’

DoubleTapper said...

Jay- Don't forget to bring me the DVD's of Jerusalem in the Woods, The History Channel 11/06 on your next visit.


belsky said...

You can order Jerusalem in the Woods from The History Channel 11/06. They ran out of the first batch but are printing more as we type.

Gabriela said...

I just saw the movie Defiance on dvd. Wow, what a fantastic movie, what a fantastic story. I thought everyone acted brilliantly. Especially Daniel Craig and Liev Schrieber. I love Liev Schrieber and his portrayal of Zus was great. Tuvia's role was wonderfully portrayed by Craig. I think both these men helped us understand the personalities of these two brothers beautifully. I've been reading alittle about the brothers and feel the Craig and Schrieber captured their essense well.
This story had it all for me. Loyalty, passion, determination, courage, romance and some kickass men and women. I loved it. This story is inspirational to all races. It shows one to never give up in any circumstance. To fight is better than giving up.

ARedRouletteKiss said...

I really enjoyed this movie as well and had never heard of the Bielski brothers before this. So after it was over I ha to immediately research them because it was inspiring to me. The movie was very painful to watch and I rarely cry in movies and couldn't stop. There is a lot of anger in me lately living in America and watching it being destroyed by the ones in charge. I think rebellion and defiance runs in my family a lot on my Bohemian mother's side and then on my dad's side where my ancestors fought the Revolutionary War. It is really upsetting to see something members in my family along time ago shed blood for go up in flames thanks to Obama and the Liberals. The attacks on Israel both verbal and physical sicken me. I don't understand how those who would call themselves the enlightened ones in politics can be this way. As a christian I always stand by Israel and the Jewish religion and get so sick hearing attacks on both of us for being moral and decent in todays society. My best friend who passed away in a car accident almost two years ago was an east german and had a Czech aunt who died in a concentration camp for being defiant against the Nazis.

It's stories like this one that gives me a bit of hope that no matter how bad things ever get there will always be the ones who stand up and fight back. It's sad that at 21 I feel like I can't be lighthearted like most of my age group is because I'm not blind to the wrong in the world and the evil.

I like this blog by the way I am very pro gun rights and love self defense.


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