By age 19, Frank Blaichman had seen most of his friends and family members die at the hands of the Nazis. Rather than hide, Blaichman led a platoon of Jewish resistance fighters in Poland.
Rather Die Fighting is Blaichman’s vividly recollected true story of war and survival. "Skinny Frank" writes about escaping from the Germans, who were resettling Poland’s Jews, and finding his way to a group of Jews hiding in a forest that he organized into a fighting unit. His story also includes acts of daring, like posing as policeman to obtain weapons and refusing to wear the Nazi-imposed Star of David.
In his performance, Pat Young balances the heart-wrenching subject matter of this story with a note of restraint.
“A gripping story of suffering, endurance, and the triumph—against massive odds—of the human spirit.”
—Sir Martin Gilbert, from his Introduction
Frank Blaichman was 16 years old when the war broke out. In 1942, the killings began in Poland. With his family and friends decimated by the roundups, Blaichman decided that he would rather die fighting; he set off for the forest to find the underground bunkers of Jews who had already escaped. Together they formed a partisan force dedicated to fighting the Germans.
This is a harrowing, utterly moving memoir of a young Polish Jew who chose not to go quietly and defied the mighty German war machine during World War II.