Lazar Chukhovich

Lazar Chukhovich

Born November 13th 1926 Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Interviewed In: Montreal, Quebec

Medals Awarded: Order of the Patriotic War (1st and 2nd Class),  Order of the Red Star and Victory over Germany In The Great Patriotic War

Sniper – 41st Guards Division. Ukrainian Front and Liberation Of Budapest

 

“When at the front one could be killed at any moment” Even as a boy, Lazar wanted to join the army. He was too young to enlist when the war began but enrolled in the academy as soon as he was able: “They were eager to enlist in the army. I wasn’t supposed to enlist before I was 17 years old. As I said, I was born in November. And in November a letter came saying that at this time we would be permitted to enlist in the army. When we were told that we could go to the military commissariat to enlist, we ran all the 30 km to the office. I finished the program with honours. They wanted me to stay and serve as a junior commander. When I found out that they wanted me to stay at the school, I went to see the school director and I told him that I strongly opposed to staying at the school. I didn’t enlist in the army to work as a school instructor. I wanted to fight against the Nazis”

In August 1944 Lazar got his wish and was sent to the 3rd Ukrainian Front with the 41st Guards Division, 124 Regiment. He was wounded in December:

“I was wounded in December ’44, which was a minor leg injury I was recuperating fast. I asked them to send me there without even removing the bandaging from my leg.”

Shortly after returning to his unit, Lazar was made a platoon commander when he was just 18 years old. He lead the platoon through Ukraine and during the Battle of Budapest, distinguishing himself as a leader and a sniper:

“Before the dawn we saw that we were on a hill, while in the valley some kind of grey mass was moving. We couldn’t make out who it was. When they moved closer I used my binocular and sniper’s rear sight to see German soldiers. We opened fire. They fired back. They scattered over the valley. They started moving uphill. When they were far away from us I saw them going uphill. Someone said to me: “Come on sniper, show us your sniper skills. I dug myself out a small trench. The distance was about 800 m between me and the place where the figures of the Germans could be seen. That was where I shot down about 13 or 14 men When I was shooting, I was surprised when after a shot the man didn’t fall down. I thought to myself: “Could it be that I missed?” It turned out that the men fell down 2 or 3 seconds later. That was when I realized that I had allowed for the time a bullet was flying”.

Lazar was demobilized in 1947. He went back to school in Ukraine and trained as an engineer. After graduating, Lazar worked in construction where he was awarded badges for Tashkent and Dagestan builder.