A born fighter
Story by Noam Giger
Photo by Noam Giger
Yefim was born on June 28, 1924 in Zanovievsky Ukraine, an only son to his parents. At the end of a three-day delivery ordeal, he was declared dead, but was later reanimated. A real fighter starting from his first breath. At the age of 14, he decided to go to a military artillery school, he went on to become an officer. In 1944 when he was 20, he joined the Red Army and was stationed on the other front as a he became the commander of anti-tank canon battery unit. For a year he fought the Nazis for the liberation of Ukraine, Romania, Hungary, Austria and Czechoslovakia. In one of the last battles, the battle for the liberation of the city of "Zebulan" is a number after the battery deployment, decided to mount the canons on a nearby hill to improve their ability to hit targets. Each cannon weighed 1.18 tons and as they carried them uphill, heavy shelling started coming down on them. Yefim lost almost all of his battery but stuck to his mission till the end, destroying the German tanks and liberating the city. When they received notice regarding the ending of the fighting and the surrender of the Germans, Yefim and his company advanced to the appointed meeting place, on their way they met with officers and soldiers of the The Russian Liberation Army, led by Vlasov, it was comprised of Red Army soldiers who switched sides to collaborate with the Nazis, dressed in Nazi uniforms. Yefim's war was not over yet. In this face-to-face encounter combat brokeout with the use cold weapons, it resulted in the "Vlasovs" fleeing, Yefim was wounded and lost two of his soldiers to this battle.
He fought so many battles that one uniform is not enough to hold all his medals and war decorations. He owns two uniforms, one is covered with medals of heroism, and the other holds his war decorations. After the war he studied law in Leningrad and took up a post in the prosecutor's office where he stayed until he retired. He came to Israel in 1995, and lives with his wife in Haifa.