Thursday, May 20, 2010
Bielski Partisan with Clothing from Forest
Sheila Garberman was with the Bielski partisans when she was 12 years old. I met her when I was partipating in a video conference with over 100 high school students in Southern New Jersey. Here is a photo of Mrs. Garberman with the blouse that she has had for over 65 years -- made from a piece of a Russian parachute in the forest by a fellow partisan. She was an orphan at the time -- her family killed by the Germans and their collaborators. Mrs. Garberman brings this incredible artifact to the scores of classes she speaks to in her community and it was an honor to share the morning with her.
During the same presentation with the students, only one out of 100 ever heard of the Jewish partisans before our program (this is normal for most schools, and we strive to change this through our work). We sent the school copies of "Defiance" on DVD for them to review before our video conference call along with our teacher materials. The conversation with the students was fascinating, but most of all, I was touched the the elegance and grace of by Mrs. Garberman and the story of her blouse.