Fedor Grinberg

Fedor Grinberg

May 20, 1923 Kiev

Interviewed In: Toronto, Ontario

308 Rifles Division, Machine Gunner, Battle of Stalingrad, Battle of Konigsberg

 

Shortly after Fedor arrived at military college the war began, and he was sent to Stalingrad where he was teamed with a partner and helped withstand several attacks by the Germans. “After we beat off the attacks there was a quiet spell. It lasted 3 days. We ran out of food, out of bread, and I told my partner, ‘You know, please go and bring us some food. I’ll stay here and wait for you’. He said, ‘I don’t feel well, please you go’. When I got out of that place there were 3 women standing down the hill and a man who had his cheek torn off. He said, ‘We got into an encirclement’. It was getting dark, the time was 7 or 8 pm, and then we saw some Germans walking in the distance. There were lots of them on the hill. We managed to hide in a dugout; they didn’t walk into our dugout. They ran into the 

dugout where this soldier was. Of course they caught him. They didn’t walk into our dugout.”

Fedor was wounded in his arm during his battles, and it was determined that he wasn’t fit for troop duties. He was send to the rear unit, where he found a different job. “They were in need of drivers. I was sent to a driving school. I finished the driving school. I was given a driver’s license. Of course, it was a military drivers’ license. Little by little I mastered the driver’s skills. We were sent to Zaporozhye region. Germans were still there and we were assigned to bring the ammunition to the front line, 5 to 6 km. We also brought food there.”

After being demobilized from the army Fedor returned home. “At home, I experienced a terrible tragedy. When I came home, I found our house in ruins. All my family had been murdered by the Nazis, my father and mother, my little brother, and my elder brother. I went to a neighbour’s house, she had been a German shepherd dog [a slang for whores during the Nazi occupation], and I saw all our furniture in her house. I didn’t say anything to her. We took other guys who had returned home from the army and we entered her house. It was empty, as if there hadn’t been anything there before. She had figured out that I would come to get my furniture back.”

After the war ended Fedor returned to Kiev where he met his wife and started a family. Eventually they moved to Israel, before coming to Canada.