Shulim Grinberg

Shulim Grinberg

Born February 21st 1922 Rybnitsa, Moldova.

Interviewed In: Montreal, Quebec

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

Air Force Gunner And Mechanic – Defence Of Moscow Battle Of Kursk.

 

“A month later nothing was left of our regiment” Grinberg lied about his age and enlisted a year early in 1941. He was in the middle of a training exercise when the war began:

“Suddenly, we saw a car approaching the field He said: “Comrades, the war has begun and we will teach them a lesson”. And we too shouted “Hooray!” Our crew commander was delayed in his cockpit. I looked at him and saw the tears in his eyes. He was crying. He had participated in Khalkhin Gol. When he came down, I asked him: “What’s wrong? We are going to teach them a lesson”. He said: ”What do you know? It’s not going to be the way you think it will”. The majority of Grinberg’s unit was killed in the first week of the war.

Grinberg worked in communications during The Defence of Moscow. He earned the Medal For Combat Merits on the front line at The Battle of Kursk. These were special circumstances as Grinberg spent most of the war as an aviation serviceman:

“I serviced U-2 aircraft. Sometimes I was sent on missions, especially in the wintertime. The thing is the airplanes ran on skis. And when it landed water was under the skis because of the friction. Should the airplane stop, the ski got frozen up and the airplane was like a useless box. I went on missions. My task was to jump out of the airplane at landing and to put wooden sticks under the skis.”

Grinberg was in Latvia at the end of the war:

“That was when the war ended officially. In fact the war was going on. Our regiment went on fighting against the Kurzeme Army Group. There were “isergi”, beating the Jews… those who came back… the “isergi” killed them on the roads. I was still in the army. We were sent to fight against those bandits. There was a strict order, 2 persons from our regiment were shot, the order was not to touch Latvians, as they were… that was a former Soviet republic. Allegedly they were not guilty, you know how it was. What they did? There were isolated farmsteads there. They were farmers. When they saw a military man passing by what did they do? They had guns by their sides. They shot the military, put away the gun and went on working.”

Grinberg worked in an electric power plant for 43 years before moving to Canada.