Fira Leikina

Fira Leikina

Born January 22, 1923 Gomel, Belarus

Interviewed In: Calgary, Alberta

Medals Awarded: Order of the Patriotic War (1st and 2nd Class),  Medal For Defense of Stalingrad and Victory over Germany In The Great Patriotic War

Food Manager In Military Hospitals, Battle of Stalingrad.

 

“Gypsy man holding the rank of captain, he had a bullet wound of his leg… and despite of that he was humming the song. That was a miracle!” The war began shortly after Fira graduated high school in Gomel. She and her family were evacuated to Kazan. There, Fira started working in the bookkeeping department at an evacuation hospital. She was eventually promoted to Food Service Manager.

“I started working at a hospital. At first I worked in the book-keeping department there. Later I was promoted to the position of the hospital’s food supplies manager. That was an evacuation hospital. ”.

Fira’s hospital was moved near The Volga River to help treat soldiers being wounded during The Battle of Stalingrad.

“After a while, soon, our manager and our hospital were ordered to move the hospital and the staff in the direction of the river Volga, closer to the front. We were transferred from an evacuation hospital to a field hospital. That was the first hospital closest to the front line. Of course, those were very difficult years, very difficult years”.

When Soviet troops crossed into German territory, Fira’s hospital was returned to its original location. By this time the war was nearly over and Fira had been promoted to Senior Lieutenant. Fira asked to be demobilized and moved back to Gomel just before the war ended.

“Gomel was in ruins, a horrible site. Our house had burnt down. There was no place to live. On May 9, 1945 without any announcements we went out to the square where the music was roaring”.