Jewish Generals Distinguish Themselves in Russian Army As Tank Commanders
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Jewish Generals Distinguish Themselves in Russian Army As Tank Commanders

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As the army of the Soviet Jewish General Ivan Cherniakhovsky fought its way into Vilna, another Soviet Jewish officer, Col. Joseph Spiller, was credited here today with contributing greatly to the capture of the city of Viborg on the Finnish front.

Col. Spiller was cited by Marshal Stalin in a order-of-the-day on June 21. He is the holder of several decorations, including the Lenigrad Defence Medal. Born in the Leningrad district, he defended the approaches to Leningrad and is credited with displaying courage and bravery, always fighting in the front ranks of the tank column which he commands. Col. Spiller has been in the Red Army since 1924. He was born in a poor Jewish family and worked as errand boy in his early youth. Later he was a bookeeper and subsequently a foreman in a factory.

The Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee today issued data on four other Jewish generals who are playing an important role on the Soviet battlefronts. They are Major Samuel Krivoshein, Major-General Michael Cherniavsky, Major-General Rabinovitch and Major-General Aron Katz. All four of them are commanders of tank troops.


Major-General Katz is credited with perfecting the Soviet tanks. An engineer, he become an expert in tank construction. For six years preceding the war he was on the faculty of the Stalin Military Academy teaching construction and operation of tanks.

Major-General Rabinovich comes from Brest-Litovsk. During the civil war he fought against the Petlura bands and participated later in the war against the Poles which brought the Red Army close to the gates of Warsaw from where they were driven back. He also commanded a tank formation during the Russian-Finnish war of 1940.

Major-General Krivoshein was born in Voronezh, the son of a Jewish watchmaker. He joined the Red Army at the age of 20, during the civil war, and served as a Cossak under Gen. Budenny’s command. Later he was transferred to the Frunze Military Academy in Moscow from where he was graduated in 1931 and assigned to a mechanized unit. He received the rank of Major-General of tank troops in 1940.

General Cherniavsky comes from a Jewish artisan family. In his early, youth he was a plumber. He joined the Red Army immediately after the Soviet Revolution and participated in battles against Petlura and Kolchak armies. Six years ago he was graduated from the Frunze Military Academy in Moscow and was placed in charge of a tank school. He is the holder of many decorations for bravery and the medal given to officers for twenty years of service in the Red Army.

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