Isaac's Army: A Story of Courage and Survival in Nazi-Occupied Poland

Isaac s Army A Story of Courage and Survival in Nazi Occupied Poland s Warsaw was a thoroughly cosmopolitan even swinging city Larger than Chicago it was host to a rich Jewish cultural life It seemed inconceivable that all this was about to be swept away but the

  • Title: Isaac's Army: A Story of Courage and Survival in Nazi-Occupied Poland
  • Author: Matthew Brzezinski
  • ISBN: 9781781852118
  • Page: 403
  • Format: ebook
  • 1930s Warsaw was a thoroughly cosmopolitan, even swinging city Larger than Chicago, it was host to a rich Jewish cultural life It seemed inconceivable that all this was about to be swept away, but then came the dark events of September 1939 As the Nazi invasion of Poland began, a ragtag army calling itself the Jewish Resistance Force fell into shape around the handsome,1930s Warsaw was a thoroughly cosmopolitan, even swinging city Larger than Chicago, it was host to a rich Jewish cultural life It seemed inconceivable that all this was about to be swept away, but then came the dark events of September 1939 As the Nazi invasion of Poland began, a ragtag army calling itself the Jewish Resistance Force fell into shape around the handsome, quick witted Isaac Zuckerman.Impossibly daring, the JRF held out until the end of the war, by which time fewer than 100 of its members survived ISAAC S ARMY is the thrilling tale of the fortunes of the JRF s main participants, told in vivid prose that brilliantly creates an atmosphere febrile with danger, heroism and ingenuity like Babel s Odessa Tales crossed with the Great Escape.In amongst the tragedy, ISAAC S ARMY manages to be touching, entertaining, and even very funny, and ultimately a celebration of the resilience of the human spirit.

    • [AZW] Ä Isaac's Army: A Story of Courage and Survival in Nazi-Occupied Poland | by ↠ Matthew Brzezinski
      Matthew Brzezinski

    About Author

    1. Matthew Brzezinski is a Polish American writer Matthew first worked as a journalist in Warsaw, writing for The New York Times and The Economist He was a Wall Street Journal staff reporter in Moscow and Kiev in the late 1990s Relocating to the US, he became a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, covering counter terrorism in the aftermath of 9 11 His work has appeared in many other publications including The Washington Post Magazine, the LA Times, and Mother Jones Isaac s Army is Matthew s fourth book His other works include Casino Moscow, Fortress America and Red Moon Rising Winner of the Sir Arthur Clarke Award He lives in Manchester by the sea, Massachusetts with his wife, three children, and unruly malamute.

    One thought on “Isaac's Army: A Story of Courage and Survival in Nazi-Occupied Poland

    1. WWII was a difficult experience for almost everyone affected by it For Jews and for Poles, it was especially horrible Isaac s Army gives a good glimpse of that, but since it focuses on survivors you can t interview people who died 70 years ago , the book manages to be engaging and hopeful rather than depressing.Brzezinski follows several people through the war years, including the German invasion of Poland, a couple Soviet invasions of Poland, the establishment of the Warsaw Ghetto, and then bot [...]

    2. One of the bravest scenes Edelman witnessed during the war was the sight of a man entering the Warsaw transit station for the transports to Auschwitz with his son on his shoulders The boy was frightened and asking where they were going Not far , the father reassured him Soon it will all be over.This is the last line of this amazing book detailing the armed Jewish underground in Warsaw The author interviewed many of the survivors and his book details the build up to the Ghetto revolt of 1943 as w [...]

    3. I ve read many books over the years about World War II I am an American citizen so it should come as no surprise that the bulk of those books have been focused on the American experience in the war followed closely by the British experience Isaac s Army is the first actual book that I have read that is about the Jewish resistance in Poland ,during the war, and also looks closely at what day to day life was like for the Jews in occupied Poland Yes I ve read books about the Holocaust, life in the [...]

    4. I won this as a Firstreads book here on.I just finished this book a few minutes ago and my first reaction after reading it is that I just want to curl up in the fetal position and have myself a good cry This book broke me, it just absolutely gutted me I have read many books about this time period, but this has quickly become one of my favorites It reads really well and not once did it feel like a dry textbook just spouting off facts These were real people and Brzezinski made them real to me and [...]

    5. Brzezinski has written a step by step, carefully researched book detailing the Resistance Fighters in Poland during WWII Most of the books about the Holocaust are personal memoirs or about the hiding of Jews While many books mention it, I have seen very few that detail the resistance in Poland There are a few books that describe the French Resistance, but even those don t seem to have reached the depth of or gotten such a feeling for the time.I was impressed with the number of direct quotes and [...]

    6. Juden haben Waffen Juden haben Waffen I hope they always do.The book is a journalistic account of the Jewish resistance, with the stated goal of reading like a novel I m not sure why so many writers feel like they have to make this a goal written history is a narrative by necessity unfortunately Because it is a journalistic account that tries to focus very specifically on the Jewish resistance in Warsaw it sacrifices any real analysis, not only on the wider themes of the war, anti Semitism, and [...]

    7. One of the reasons I don t read horror fiction is because reading history can be grim enough As this tightly and vividly written, impeccably researched, book exemplifies You know going in that it s going to be grim, and it is.But there are stories of courage and virtue in the sickening relation of deliberate slaughter One of the Jewish Resistance groups was a bunch of teenagers Girls were involved, not just as couriers but toting weapons, as well as the boys.The SS was given the mandate late in [...]

    8. Wow One of my favorite books of all time is Leon Uris Mila 18 This book is the real life Mila 18 Being able to follow this certain group of Jews who lived in Warsaw, Poland during the time of WWII and seeing exactly how the lived and preserved day after day is true testament to the power of survival I am truly amazed at the luck and will power of the human spirit Books like this should be a must read for the human population I really appreciate how the author was able to make the reader very fam [...]

    9. Ten years ago my wife and I visited Poland Since I had studied the Holocaust for many years I thought I knew what to expect, but after visiting the remnants of the Warsaw Ghetto and Auschwitz Birkenau I was wrong Since many of my relatives were murdered in Auschwitz and part of my journey was to find my father s village outside of Krakow I had a very sobering and emotional reaction to what I saw I have read countless books on the Holocaust, but few measure up to Matthew Brzezinski s ISAAC s ARMY [...]

    10. This should be required reading for high school students and for everyone who has a vote Isaac s Army tells the story of Jewish resistance in Warsaw, one of the great, ancient cities of Europe that was destroyed by the Nazis aided a bit by a slow rescue by the Russians who waited across the river while the Nazis finished their destruction of the city Before the war Hitler had plans to destroy Warsaw and make it into the model German city The Germans began their plan by driving in with tanks and [...]

    11. I have read many books about World War II and about the Holocaust I didn t know much about the Jewish Resistance and Brzezinski does a great job bringing these people to life I learned so much from this book It really opened my eyes on just how many were involved with the resistance and what they sacrificed This book is so hard to listen to, listen to what these people lived through Sometimes it s hard to wrap my mind around the fact that the Holocaust even happened That there were people out th [...]

    12. I got this book as a GoodReads FirstRead, and I was really excited This book is a story that we only hear vague glimmers of in most of history classes of World War II I actually didn t know a lot of the history of the destruction of Warsaw, as well as the destruction of the Ghetto I knew that there was a Jewish rebellion, as well as a Polish rebellion But to hear it firsthand well second hand Brzezinski interviewed a lot of the players, as well as going on diary entries from the Resistance membe [...]

    13. I can t remember ever reading a sadder book After returning from a trip to Poland, prompted by the realization that I know next to nothing about Polish history, particularly as it relates to the plight of the Jews during WW2, I began a search for a non fiction account and stumbled across this book.With great clarity Brzezinski recounts the story of the Warsaw Jewish Resistance movement through the eyes of half a dozen young activists, young men and women who, against all odds, survive Hitler s c [...]

    14. Matthew Brzezinski provides an excellent historical narrative of the Jewish Resistance to Nazi Occupation in the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II The sheer devastation brought on by the Nazi s is often overlooked in many military narratives but the razing of Warsaw and of the Ghetto s destruction in particular is artfully brought to life Using first person narratives from the participants and historical documents the author is able to put a human face on the struggle against the Nazi s and show [...]

    15. I LOVED this book I read it while in Poland This took place in Warsaw and of course there is nothing left to see as most of Warsaw was destroyed, but it was still neat to read this while in Poland I have read so many Holocaust memoirs but this was a well researched book on the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising not to be confused with the Warsaw Uprising which was later The Jews of Poland were for the most part such a peaceful people And so optimistic With the exception of a few up until the very end they r [...]

    16. A compelling, devastating history of a few dozen Jewish Resistance members and their families, this book manages to encompass the wartime experiences of a vast array of Varsovians Brzezinski has an eye for dramatic narrative, and populates this history with the heroically flawed and the pragmatically villainous This is a history book that s hard to put down, full of intensely personal, haunting scenes READ IF You re a WWII buff You like stories about people who survive against all odds You like [...]

    17. Toward the end of the story, the author has a line about how some people view some of the events of the Jewish uprising in the Warsaw ghetto in 1943 There are elements of the story very difficult to verify because so very many of the participants died Who was responsible, the People s Army, or the Jews, or I think that is exactly why authors like Brezinski should be encouraged to keep digging Having only encountered a handful of Holocaust deniers, I often view them a bit askance But a story such [...]

    18. Very, very stirring and informational book about the Jewish people who led the Ghetto Uprising in Warsaw Just the sort of history I like readable, accessible, strong narrative and life like characters, yet, fully documented and footnoted I think I will go back and read Mila 18 by Leon Uris, which is known by its English name in this book Pleasant Street.

    19. I won this book through and, though I m very interested in World War II and the Holocaust, I groaned when I got it in the mail and actually put off reading it for quite some time as it seemed like such a dense book about a serious topic, which I haven t been in the mood for at all I finally decided I d pick it up, read a few chapters in the beginning, middle and end and skim the rest of it just so I could get enough of an idea about the story and writing to put together a review However, I found [...]

    20. The Horror that was the Warsaw GhettoThis book was reviewed as part of s Vine program which included a free advance copy of the book.Unfortunately, most of the Western World s view of the horrific human cost of World War II is confined to a relatively small section of the Western European map and the universal figure of 6 million However, It was Eastern Europe that bore the brunt of the exorbitant human toll of World War II and arguably, no country suffered than Poland and no city suffered like [...]

    21. In Isaac s Army, Matthew Brzezinski writes the riveting story of the Jewish resistance fighting from within the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II He follows the stories of Isaac Zuckerman and Zivia Lubetkin, leaders of the Socialist Zionist movement, Mark Edelman, a leader in the Jewish Fighting Organization, Boruch Spiegel and Simha Ratheiser, and several other characters.This book was impossible to put down I ve read a lot about the Holocaust and World War II, and I thought I knew a great deal [...]

    22. I have read many books on the Holocaust, but I had not read anything on the Jews, who found against the Nazi s This is a sad story of those courageous people, who fought against the German army, and the hatred of some of the Polish people At the end of the book, the author states, that only the young single people were freedom fighters It took courage on the part of men, to stay with their families, and to comfort them One of the survivors said the bravest thing he ever saw, was a young boy sit [...]

    23. An extremely thought provoking, slightly depressing book but one that needed to be written and is well worth reading.The structure of the book is excellent With multiple characters of focus, it can be a little confusing in the initial chapters as to who is who, but the author does a good job introducing the subjects The chapters are not overly long, effectively interweaving the various plot lines and keeping the book moving Where background and tangential information is needed, it is given in a [...]

    24. Incredible read about the uprising in the War Ghetto, during WW II, as well as other happenings surrounding that time frame Author provides very graphic descriptions about the inhumanity of the Germans, and gentile Poles against Poland s Jewish population where about 85% of the Jews of Poland were murdered because of their religion He goes further, though, in also describing the actions of the Germans in attempting to wipe Warsaw off the face of the map, in accordance with Hitler and Himmler s d [...]

    25. Most Holocaust survivor tales detail their powerlessness to avoid their trials, like removal from their homes and their imminent death in grey prison camps This book, however, showcases the incredible strength that isolated cells of people were able to scrape up from nothing no resources, no assistance, and honestly, very little hope This book imparts conflicting emotions one spends a majority of the time thinking, Ha, take that you pogromist Suck it, Nazis , but after a brief thought or two, kn [...]

    26. Goodread s first read giveaway.Rating 4 5Matthew Brezinski provides an excellent, well studied and articulated chronicle of the Jewish Resistance in Nazi Occupied Warsaw, Poland during the course of the Second World War The horrors of the Holocaust are vividly and hauntingly portrayed through first person narratives of the participants Contrary to the strong, victorious implication of an Army in the title of the book, the tiny pocket of conspirators of the Resistance Movements appear just as ord [...]

    27. This is truly one of the best works of popular history that I have ever read The scale of the tragedy that gives the book its setting is a part of it, but it is also very well written The protagonists are remarkable but very human Their exploits are heroic and their survival is astonishing On the other hand, the book does not disregard their faults and failures, and that only makes it compelling The author s insight at the end is very touching He quotes one of the survivors as essentially sayin [...]

    28. This is one of the most informative books I have ever read Sadly enough I have to admit that I learn and about WWII and the holocaust from books every year than I did while in school I won this particular book in the giveaway and thoroughly enjoyed it While reading I couldn t help consider the question the author posed to himself, which time of person would I have been, would I have stood and fought, would I have been scared and hid, would I have been naieve and allowed myself to be taken to s [...]

    29. One always wonders about Jewish resistance during World War II and why it s seldom discussed This book proves that the Jews did, indeed, have organized resistance cells in wartime Warsaw after they were herded into the Ghettos awaiting transportation to the camps The stories of these brave groups and how they survived is nothing short of amazing Try to imagine what it would take for you to climb down into running sewers crawling in the pitch blackness through the human waste and cadavers of thos [...]

    30. An interesting, detailed account of Jewish life and resistance in Poland during the Holocaust For example, I was surprised to learn that Mordechai Anielewicz, often viewed as the leader of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, only entered the ghetto after the ZOB Jewish Combat Organization had already been formed and an uprising had already been planned.My main complaint with the book is that Matthew Brzezinski changes the Polish names of people and streets to American names Isaac instead of Itzhak, Mark [...]

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