Moshe Gildenman was the commander of “Uncle Misha’s Jewish Group,” a partisan brigade that operated in the Polish-Ukrainian region of Volhynia and the Ukrainian province of Zhytomyr. (Courtesy of Yad Vashem.)
Motele Schlein’s Violin. After his parents and little sister were murdered by Nazis, Mordechai “Motele” Schlein escaped to the forests of northern Ukraine. There, the 12-year-old boy joined the legendary partisan brigade known as “Uncle Misha’s Jewish Group.” In August 1943, Motele infiltrated a German Soldiers Club in the city of Ovruch, where he was hired to provide entertainment during meals. Every night, Motele would hide his violin in the Soldiers Club and take home an empty case. When he would return the next day, inside his case would be hidden a few pounds of explosives. He packed those explosives into a crack he had discovered in the basement wall. When high-ranking SS officers arrived for a visit, Motele detonated the explosives and blew up the building.