Nechama Tec tells the story of the largest armed rescue operation of Jews by Jews in World War II.

Arguing that the success of the Bielski partisans, as the rescue organization came to be known, would have been unthinkable without the vision of one man, Tec offers penetrating insight into the group’s commander, Tuvia Bielski. Tec brings to light the untold story of Bielski’s struggle as a partisan who lost his parents, wife, and two brothers to the Nazis, yet never wavered in his conviction that it was more important to save one Jew than to kill twenty Germans. She shows how, under Bielski’s guidance, the partisans smuggled Jews out of heavily guarded ghettos, scouted the roads for fugitives, and led retaliatory raids against Belorussian peasants who collaborated with the Nazis.

Herself a Holocaust survivor, Nechama Tec here draws on wide-ranging research and never before published interviews with surviving partisans–including Tuvia Bielski himself–to reconstruct here the poignant and unforgettable story of those who chose to fight.