Predators and multiple marginalization

Abraham Rosenwald likewise encountered a bewildering array of different groups in the forest after he escaped from Tartak [a concentration camp in Poland].  First, he encountered Bolek, who would not take his group of Jews since they had no weapons.  A second partisan group robbed them of their few possessions.  To live, "we went to the fields and gathered potatoes.  The peasants ambushed us and beat us up."  A third group of partisans murdered one of Abraham's companions, Israel Rosenberg, because they coveted his clothes.  In one village they encountered a fourth group of partisans, whose commander would not let them join but nonetheless gave them some grenades for self-defense.  Members of a fifth group of partisans robbed them once again, but this time the commander returned the stolen goods.  A sixth partisan group agreed to take any Jews with prior military experience but subsequently murdered them.  Abraham was finally allowed to joint a seventh group, from whom he received rifle training, but he became separated in escaping a German encirclement.  An eighth group, led by "Piotor," allowed Jews to join but only to perform menial work, not fight.  And the Jews were not allowed to stay with Piotor when he crossed over to the Russian lines.  At this point, Abraham encountered Shlomo Einesman, who had left his hiding place.  Einesman suggested the others return to that hiding place with him, since he had sufficient money.  Instead, Abraham persisted in going east and this time made it across to the Soviets.

That is from Christopher R. Browning's new book Remembering Survival: Inside a Nazi Slave-Labor Camp.


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