Frank Blaichman

Author of Rather Die Fighting

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Frank Blaichman was born to a Jewish family in the small town of Kamionka, Poland, near Lublin. He was 16 years old when Nazi Germany invaded his country in World War II. He took many risks to help his parents and six siblings survive. He rode a bicycle from neighboring villages and farms to nearby cities, buying and selling food and other supplies. He refused to wear the Star of David and managed to travel without being recognized as a Jew. When he learned that all the Jews of Kamionka were to be resettled in the Lubartow ghetto (they were, in fact, deported to an unknown destination), he hid outside the town. Making his way to the forest, he found more than 100 Jews living in an encampment of small bunkers. Eventually, they were joined by more refugees, plus men who had fought in the Polish Army, and others with ties to the Polish underground and the Soviet Army. At the age of 21, Blaichman became the unit's youngest platoon commander. They destroyed telephone lines, damaged dairy factories and ambushed German patrols.
In July 1944, when the Red Army took Lublin from the Germans, Blaichman's partisan group entered the city.

After the war, he married Cesia Pomeranc, and six years later they emigrated to the USA. His memoir, Rather Die Fighting, was published in 2009.
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