On the night of September 26, 1943 232 Jews escaped through a tunnel from the Novogrudok Ghetto. Nearly 170 survived, primarily by joining the Bielski partisans who operated nearby in the Naliboki forest. This was likely the greatest escape in Nazi occupied Europe throughout the entire war and Holocaust.
The tenacity and courage of the last Jews of the Novogrudok ghetto to dig a 250 meter tunnel leading to the forest, combined with the capability of joining Tuvia Bielski and his partisans, facilitated one of the most astounding stories of Jewish survival during the Holocaust. Tuvia Bielski famously said that he prioritizes saving lives over killing Germans. The result was that his partisan unit was a family camp which saved over 1,200 Jews, among them the escapees of the Novogrudok tunnel.
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