The Forest Brothers (also Brothers of the Forest; Forest Brethren; Forest Brotherhood; Estonian: metsavennad, Latvian: meža brāļi, Lithuanian: miško broliai) were Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian partisans who waged a guerrilla war against Soviet rule during the Soviet invasion and occupation of the three Baltic states during, and after, World War II. Similar anti-Soviet Eastern European resistance groups fought against Soviet and communist rule in Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, and western Ukraine.
The Red Army occupied the independent Baltic states in 1940–1941 and, after a period of German occupation, again in 1944–1945. As Stalinist repression intensified over the following years, 50,000 residents of these countries used the heavily-forested countryside as a natural refuge and base for armed anti-Soviet resistance.
Resistance units varied in size and composition, ranging from individually operating guerrillas, armed primarily for self-defense, to large and well-organized groups able to engage significant Soviet forces in battle.
Famous quotes containing the words forest and/or brothers:
“Nature herself has not provided the most graceful end for her creatures. What becomes of all these birds that people the air and forest for our solacement? The sparrow seems always chipper, never infirm. We do not see their bodies lie about. Yet there is a tragedy at the end of each one of their lives. They must perish miserably; not one of them is translated. True, not a sparrow falleth to the ground without our Heavenly Fathers knowledge, but they do fall, nevertheless.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“In certain respects, particularly economically, National- Socialism is nothing but bolshevism. These two are hostile brothers of whom the younger has learned everything from the older, the Russian excepting only morality.”
—Thomas Mann (18751955)