From The Ukraine To Czechoslovakia With The Soviet Army: Wartime Experiences Of A Russian Jew

Lazar Galak


Lazar Galak was born on December 11, 1924, in Odessa, Ukraine. He was concerned when the Germans invaded Poland, and in 1941, at the age of 17, he joined the Soviet Army, attending artillery school and receiving a commission as a Lieutenant upon graduation. From July 1942 to February 1943, he served outside Moscow before moving to Voronezh. On January 26, 1945, he was badly wounded while serving in Czechoslovakia, and almost had his leg amputated. Only his violent protests convinced the doctor to save the limb. He was in Zdroj, Czechoslovakia, when the war ended. In this interview, he describes his childhood in the Ukraine, attending the artillery school, and serving in the Soviet Army during World War II. He recalls being wounded three times during the war (in the stomach, below his eye, and in the leg), and a battle on July 19, 1943, in which his four artillery pieces successfully repulsed seventeen German tanks. He describes a relationship with a close friend who served with him throughout the war, and explains how anti-Semitism influenced his decision to come to America in 1989. Finally, he reflects on his service during WWII, and, as a special surprise, he celebrates his anniversary with his wife.


conflicts World War II
topics Courage Injuries Leadership Morale Jewish Military Experience Nazi Germany Patriotism
interviewer David Siry
date 20 February 2019


name Lazar Galak
service Artillery
unit Soviet Army
service dates 1941 1945