A Survivor's Story

July 8, 2009 | CUNY Lecture Series, Lehman College

When Essie Shor was 16, Nazis slaughtered 4,000 people — including her mother and two sisters — in her hometown of Novogrudek, then Poland. Sixty years later, Shor has told her story of survival in “Essie: The True Story of a Teenage Fighter in the Bielski Partisans,” co-authored by Andrea Zakin, an assistant professor of early childhood education at Lehman College who previously taught Shor and urged her to write a book for young adults. After escaping the Nazis, Shor fought for two years alongside her cousins, the Bielski brothers, who helped save hundreds of Jews in the forests of Nazi-occupied Poland. “It was a very difficult to write the book,” said Shor, 83, in a talk at Lehman College, “but I felt that this has to be done because of the perception that Jews went like sheep…We were fighting, but we couldn’t win against the regular German army.”
Listen Now >>