March 12, 2013


By Kathryn Kopchik

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Campus Jewish Life at Bucknell University will host a film about the Bielski partisans in March, followed by a talk by a Bielski partisan in April.

Both events are free and open to the public.

The film, "Defiance," will be shown Wednesday, March 20, at 7:30 p.m. in the Gallery Theatre of the Elaine Langone Center.

Written, produced and directed by Edward Zwick, "Defiance" is a 2008 World War II era film, set during the occupation of Belarus by Nazi Germany.

The film is an account of the Bielski partisans, a group led by three Jewish brothers in Belarus who escaped into the forest. There they joined Russian resistance fighters and built a village in order to protect themselves and about 1,000 Jewish non-combatants.

The film stars Daniel Craig as Tuvia Bielski, Liev Schreiber as Zus Bielski, Jamie Bell as Asael Bielski and George MacKay as Aron Bielski.

Bielski partisan talk
In a related event, Bielski partisan Leah Bedzowski Johnson will speak April 9 at 7 p.m. in Trout Auditorium of the Vaughan Literature Building.

On the eve of her 18th birthday, the Nazis invaded the town of Lida, where Johnson lived with her family before her father was killed and they were confined to a ghetto. The Bedzowskis escaped to the forest, where the Bielski brothers and others were hiding.

As a member of the Bielski Brigade, Johnson went on food-finding missions and served guard duty. She also met Velvel Yanson, a Jewish partisan from another brigade, who became her husband. They emigrated to Canada in 1949 where they raised three children.

The April 9 talk is part of the University's observance of Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. It is sponsored by Campus Jewish Life and Bucknell Hillel.

Contact: Division of Communications

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