ISBN 10: 1935232207 / ISBN 13: 9781935232209
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Riassunto: "With courage shall we fight," a line from one of Frances' poems, is a fitting title for the memoir of Murray "Motke" and Frances "Fruma" Gulkowich Berger's incredible story of survival. Miraculously, first individually and then together as fighters in the Bielski Brigade, they escaped from the Nazis and certain death and literally fought back, saving not only their own lives but those of others as well.

Their history was more than a story of survival during the Holocaust, of enduring the hardships of displaced persons, and of establishing themselves in a new country where they had arrived nearly broke and barely speaking the language. Theirs was a love story.

This memoir, in prose and poetry, will teach future generations about courage in the face of adversity and that the experiences of Holocaust martyrs and survivors must never be forgotten.

About the Author: Ralph S. Berger is an arbitrator, mediator, attorney and adjunct lecturer for Cornell University. Albert S. Berger is a retired teacher who presently coaches high school sports and mentors teachers-in-training for Brooklyn College. They are the editors of With Courage Shall We Fight: The Memoirs and Poetry of Holocaust Resistance Fighters Frances Fruma Gulkowich Berger and Murray Motke Berger, which tells the story of their parents lives. They have lectured on the book at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D. C., the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City, and Miami-Dade College in Miami, Florida, among many other venues. The book has been used as part of the curriculum at the University of Miami s Teacher Institute on Holocaust Studies.

As they write in the book: Our parents did not think of themselves as heroes. Others did, however, including us as we got older and more fully appreciated all they had gone through and achieved. Neither of us will ever forget a bat mitzvah we attended a few years ago in California. A well-dressed, stately looking lady began to run towards us, limping and shouting "You're Murray Berger s sons. You're Murray Berger s sons." A middle-aged man followed behind. He was smiling and trying to keep up with his mother. When she reached us and caught her breath, she explained, "I'm Tamara Katz. Your father carried me and my son out of the ghetto." Until then, we had never heard this story.

At a young age, we knew about World War II and the Holocaust and the destruction of our extended family. But we knew little about our parents lives between then and our early childhood years. The fact that they had survived the War and were among the Jews who had fought back in order to do so was what was important; the struggles that followed were merely obstacles they had to overcome.

Life was not easy for our parents after the War. They were truly displaced persons in every sense of the word. They had lost, under horrific circumstances, most of their families, their friends, their possessions and their way of life. There was no way of going back. The world that they had known no longer existed.

As our parents grew older, they became ill and took care of one another with tenderness and tremendous patience. They were fighters to the end and were determined to live and die on their own terms. If the Nazis were to kill them, it would be with a bullet to the back by escaping rather than submitting. They valiantly fought back after diagnoses of heart attacks, cancer and other debilitating diseases. They died just as they lived with courage and with dignity. Mom died first, on July 12, 1995; Dad died four years later, on March 23, 1999.

To our parents, being a
mentsch was the highest virtue. In Yiddish a mentsch is a good person, one that does the right thing and helps others. Mom and Dad were proud when we acted like mentschen. But what is most amazing is that our parents were mentschen and that they were able to maintain their goodness, kindness and humanity in spite of all they went through.

Our parents felt strongly regarding educating others about those Jews who fought back during the Holocaust. They had come to see that their lives as partisan fighters was unique and that teaching others about their Holocaust experiences was not only important in terms of historic education, but their way of giving
koved, i.e., honor, to their loved ones who were lost. It is our legacy to continue this mission and to tell their remarkable story."

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