From Daughter To Partisan

Anna Firstenberg started out as a very sweet and sheltered girl in the city of Allenstein, Germany.  Her parents raised her to be polite to those around her while affording her a formal education of which many would be envious.  She grew up dreaming of becoming a traditional German housewife and carrying on her family’s name.  Self-preservation was the farthest thing from her mind, even as the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany edged closer towards war.

Anna at Home in Allenstein, 1936

Slowly, she began to take notice of Hitler’s persecution of the Jewish people.  Laws were enacted throughout the 1930’s, depriving them of their basic rights as citizens.  As the German Army swept through Europe from 1939-1942, she found herself displaced from country to country, and eventually sought sanctuary with a group of Russian partisans.  Dropped into a world where violence was needed to survive, Anna must adjust the best she can.

She finds herself in a situation where everyone has to do their part to defeat the German invader.  This eventually means going into combat, and if necessary, taking a life.

Anna is a woman who has had very little exposure or experience with firearms.  Now she’s cleaning loading, and eventually shooting them at her fellow Germans.  The very idea of taking a life, or even hurting someone, is almost unthinkable.  However, it’s something she must make peace with in order to avoid the suspicion of her peers.  Her German-Jewish past puts Anna in a precarious position where she must sacrifice her morality to save her life.


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