Israel Barsuk, born March 1, 1919 in Kremnchuk, in the Ukraine. His family moved to Moscow where he completed his schooling and then worked in an automobile factory. In the fall of 1939 he was drafted into the Soviet army. He was made a political vice-commissar, and continued his studies until June 1941, when the Germans invaded. He saw heavy combat in Zaportzwe, in the Ukraine, and when his commander was killed by a sniper's bullet he became the leader of a battalion of 300 men. He was wounded in September 1941 and spent four months in hospital. After he was discharged he was considered unfit for active duty, but convinced his superior officers to send him back to the front where he joined a tank unit in Gorky. He fought with them until late 1942 when he was transferred to Moscow to supervise supplies for armored troops. He immigrated to the United States in 1985.
© Jonathan Alpeyrie