Gitla Doppelt grew up in Byten, Belarus, surviving first the Russian occupation and then the Nazi takeover and ghettoization, all before she was 14. Her family, including brothers Israel and Chiya and parents Samuel and Frieda Slonimski, escaped to the woods and joined a band of partisan fighters. While with the partisans, Israel and Gitla were separated from their parents, and Chiya was killed. Gitla and her brother Israel were reunited with their parents after the war.
Gitla married Felix Doppelt while living in a displaced persons camp in Italy. They moved to Kansas City, Missouri, in 1950.
She was moved to tears while watching the film Defiance. “I was very happy to see, at last, a monument to my brother,” Gitla said. “He wanted people to know how we went to the forest and how we were fighting.”Learn more about Gitla Doppelt