military tours

The Jerusalem partisan camp

updated on 16/01/2017

Have you ever heard of the Bielski Brothers’ partisan detachment? It is in fact one of the most fascinating stories about the Jewish resistance effort in Eastern Europe during WWII. If you’ve seen the “Defiance” movie starring Daniel Craig (2008), then you’ll know what this is all about)

While the filmmakers used the Lithuanian natural backgrounds as settings to their action the historic scene of the partisan operations including those of the Bielski Brothers was in fact Naliboki Forest, about 150 km away from Minsk. The ancient thicket (or pushcha in Belarusian) heavily mixed with swamps made an ideal shelter for dozens of Soviet partisan teams who gained control over large areas. It is here that the small family team of the Bielski Brothers headed by Tuvia Bielski had evolved into a Jewish partisan team of over 1200 by 1944.

The traces of the camp which many residents called Jerusalem can still be seen in the heart of the forest. Naturally, swamps were drained after the war and now one doesn’t have to take considerable pains to reach the camp premises. The tour introduces you to the background of the Jewish history in Belarus, the history of the Bielski family and its life in the countryside and on the multiple (and often ugly) aspects of the war, specifically, the partisan war in Belarus.

After visiting the forest camp site on foot from the nearby village of Kletische we will return to the village to sample the countryside ways of life. We might even get lucky and a babushka will cook us some of those potato pancakes or other village delicacies. After a short stay at the village we will return to Minsk.

Optionally a city tour of Novogrudok might be injected into the tour program with the price confirmed upon request.

Tour duration: 7.0 hours, around 320 km round way.

Tour price: USD 240 (per car)

Note: the price quoted is for reference purposes and is confirmed upon request. It covers transportation (the standard option for 1-3 pax is Skoda Superb, 2006), an English-speaking guide-driver, travel services and taxes. The exact price can be confirmed upon request. The tour is available round the week from May till November. (!) The countryside bathrooms are classical, please keep that in mind)

In an overgrown partisan camp dugout...


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