Fire Without Smoke
Bright, Spencer; Mayevski, Florian
Florian's story is unique in many ways. He escaped from a slave labour camp and survived the Polish winter alone as a fugitive in the forests, living in hand-made shelters dug beneath the ground. He fought as a partisan in the Polish Home Army at a time when few Jews did so (but had to hide his Jewish identity from his comrades to ensure that men in the group he commanded would follow his orders). Finally, under threat from the anti-Semitism of Polish partisans, he joined a parachute group, made up of Russian prisoners-of-war and German veterans from the Spanish Civil War, and fought with them until the end of the War. The role that he played within the partisan movement throws light on a little-researched aspect of the War. After the Second World War, Florian became an officer in the Polish Army, but the new wave of anti-Semitism in the 1960s drove him into exile: first to Israel and, finally, to England.