Belarus Interwar Years The Opening  Years Operation Barbarossa & Ghettoization Into the Forest The Bielski Otriad Leaving the Forest The Bielski Legacy

The Final Year of the Bielski Otriad:  July 1943 - July 1944

After Operation Hermann, the German assault on partisans in the forests of Belarus, the partisan network in the area came under the leadership of Soviet Major Vasily Chernyshev, known as "General Platon."  He consolidated and reorganized the Jewish Bielski brigade into the overall partisan network. 

Under his design, the Bielski group was divided into two detachments:  the Ordzhonikidze, based around Stankevich; and the Kalinin family unit, located in the Naliboki.  The Ordzhonikidze unit comprised 180-200 fighters under a Soviet commander and Zus Bielski as the chief of reconnaissance.  The unit distinguished itself in carrying out sabotage actions on German supply lines and interfering with military objectives. Map of the Bielski Family Camp, based upon survivor testimony and recent archeological dig

Tuvia and Asael remained in charge of the Kalinin family group.  Although Tuvia strongly objected to the division, he understood that the integration of his unit in the larger partisan network enabled the Bielskis to continue rescuing Jews.  The family camp flourished under the brother's leadership.  The area became a village with all the shops, professional services and infrastructure necessary to organize and support hundreds of people.  The map of the family camp shows the variety of services the Bielski partisans had.  They built a bathhouse, two medical facilities, shops for tailoring, shoemaking and other light industries in the village in the forest.