Lev Shneider

Lev Shneider

Born 1924 Minsk, 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

Rifleman, Battle of Stalingrad Platoon Commander and Signal Officer, Baltic Region, Tashkent

“I got my baptism of fire in Stalingrad ”

Like many of his generation, Lev was conscripted on his 18th birthday in 1942. Lev enrolled in a year long aviation mechanic training program. The need for men at The Battle of Stalingrad meant he and his classmates were sent to the front as riflemen before they could complete their training.

“The program was supposed to be 1 year long. But due to the critical situation in Stalingrad, our aviation mechanics school was transformed into detached training rifles battalion. On approaching the front line we only walked in the night time because walking in the day time was dangerous due to the fire and shelling by the Germans. And so we reached the front line. After 3 attacks there remained only 28 of us. I was wounded and frostbitten. I spend quite a while in a hospital… a long time”.

At Stalingrad Lev was promoted to sergeant. He was sent to officer training school in The Urals upon being released from the hospital. After graduating, Lev served as a signal officer and rifleplatoon commander in The Baltics. When the war in Europe ended he briefly fought in Tashkent. After Japan surrendered Lev was stationed in Kushka, the southernmost point in The Soviet Union, for year before demobilizing.

Lev lived in Kursk for a short time after the war. He and his family eventually immigrated to Israel, where they lived for 15 years before settling in Calgary.