Interviews from the Underground producer Phillip Alloy first became aware of Russia’s World War II Jewish resistance movement while conducting genealogical research in the former Soviet republic of Belarus. In order to keep this virtually unknown aspect of World War II history alive, Mr. Alloy began to research and document what little information was available on the subject.
Funded by a Charles Sullivan Foundation and Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture fellowship grants, Mr. Alloy returned to Belarus to conduct film interviews with surviving members of the Russian Jewish partisan movement. During this research he spoke with numerous Jewish men and women who fought against the Nazi’s three-year reign of terror. Interviewees were active in both the rural partisan armed resistance movement as well as in urban ghettos. For many, Mr. Alloy’s sessions marked the first time they had publicly recounted their stories.
Mr. Alloy and his production team gathered over forty hours of film during this time. From that footage, two interviews have been excerpted and combined with additional historical material to form the 19-minute documentary Interviews from the Underground that can be viewed on www.jewishpartisans.net. Since its public release, Interviews from the Underground has been featured on many Internet film sites including www.spike.com where it has been viewed over 25,000 times. The film has additionally been the subject of a number of print and media reviews.
Phillip Alloy recently returned to Belarus to gather archival visual, written and printed documents invaluable to telling the remarkable story of the Jewish resistance movement. Access to records in the Belarusian national archives has been severely restricted to foreign researchers making the information Mr. Alloy gathered even more valuable to recounting the story of the Jewish partisans. During his research Mr. Alloy has assembled one of the largest private collections of resource material on Russia’s Jewish partisans and resistance fighters.