Last month, the Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation mourned the passing of Jewish partisan Morris Sorid.
Born Moshe Yudewitz, he worked in Pruzany, Poland as a respected educator; by the time the Nazis invaded in 1940, he was living with his wife Regina and their young daughter, Tsveeyah. Having already confined them to a ghetto, the Nazis began the systematic deportation of Pruzany’s 10,000 Jews on January 27, 1943. Realizing that their best chance for survival lay in escape, Morris and Regina tearfully left Tsveeyah in the care of her grandparents several days later and hid in a bunker underneath their home. After 18 days, they escaped the ghetto and found temporary refuge in the home of a Catholic farmer, who risked his life to harbor them.
Shortly after, Morris and Regina began their odyssey in the forests of the Bilaloviez Wilderness; after wandering for about a week, they met and were accepted into the Russian Chapayev Brigade. With five detachments, the Chapayev Brigade was part of the larger Malenkovah Otriad.
A trained midwife, Regina treated the sick and the wounded. Morris participated in various acts of armed resistance, from securing food to blowing up bridges. By November 1943, he was appointed Deputy Commander of the Malenkovah Otriad. Morris and Regina were liberated from the forest in July 1944 and their first son was born just two months later. They named him Victor, as a remembrance of their liberation.
After the war, Morris and Regina learned that their daughter and the rest of the family had perished in Aushwitz. They spent several years in a DP camp in Germany before emigrating to the United States in 1948 and settling in Brooklyn. Morris changed the family name to Sorid, a variation of the Hebrew word for survivor “sarad”. He worked long hours to provide for his family, which by now included a second son Harvey. At 95 years old, Morris penned his memoir titled "One More Miracle." Eventually relocating to Far Rockaway, Morris achieved fame in October 2012 as the oldest evacuee from Hurricane Sandy and his story was the subject of many news articles. Read another article about his remarkable life on Philly.com.
Morris passed away on January 14, 2013, just shy of his 102nd birthday. The board and staff of the Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation extend their deepest condolences to the entire Sorid Family. May Morris’ memory be a blessing.