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Teaching Defiance: Jewish Resistance and the Bielski Partisans

Mon, February 8, 2010

Most people know of the vast human tragedy that was the overwhelming fact of WWII and the Holocaust.  But fewer know the stories of the Jewish partisans who escaped the horror to fight back; ordinary people who fled into the woods to become warriors against the Nazis. Faced with incredible hardships and opposition even from their own compatriots, these courageous men and women risked life and limb to conduct sabotage missions and save as many Jews as possible.
CREEES, along with the Center for European Studies and the Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation, is offering a one-day workshop for middle and high school teachers.  Historical background/context on World War II and the Holocaust will be provided by a professor from the UT History department. Brendon Rennert, Tuvia Bielski's grandson, will lead the workshop on Jewish armed resistance and using the Defiance/Bielski curriculum in your classroom.

Each participant will receive:
Defiance DVD with Excerpts
The feature film, director's comments, 5 primary source interviews with Bielski partisans, and special made-for-classroom DVD with 16 excerpts from key scenes to use in the classroom

Defiance / Bielski Partisans Curriculum
New teacher's guide to DVD and excerpts, plus additional JPEF educational materials created with Bielski biographer Peter Duffy and Defiance screenwriter Clayton Frohman

Nine Jewish Partisans Documentaries
Produced by the Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation - includes two new films

This free workshop will be held on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin on Friday, March 26. Registration includes all materials, parking, and lunch.  Space is limited.
A registration form will be available on the CREEES website at
Please return the registration form by fax by March 9, 2010.
Interested educators should contact:
Allegra Azulay, CREEES Outreach Coordinator,
At 512-471-7782 or <>

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  • Center for European Studies

    University of Texas at Austin
    158 W 21st Street
    Austin, Texas 78712