An aged Jewish water carrier, whose quick thinking saved the lives of hundreds of wounded Red Armymen, is wearing the Medal for Military Distinction today, according to a story appearing in a local newspaper. He is Alter Seigal, a resident of Dubno, now attached to a military field hospital on the Kuban front.
One day, several weeks ago, when Seigal went to fetch some water, he noticed a stranger wandering around near the well in an aimless manner, which aroused his suspicion. When he had drawn a bucket of water from the well, he offered a drink to the man, but the latter refused, explaining that he was not thirsty.
“Drink, or I sound the alarm,” Seigal threatened. Whereupon the stranger’s hand moved to his right hip pocket. But before he could draw his revolver, Seigal doused him with the bucket of water, temporarily blinding him, and shouted for help. When the well water was tested, it was found to be poisoned. Had the water been brought to the hospital, it would have killed hundreds of patients.
Interviewed by a correspondent, Siegal revealed that his family and relatives-with the exception of two sons fighting with the Red Army-had been massacred when the Nazis seized Dubno. He added that his one desire, despite his age, was to join a guerrilla band so that he might personally wreak vengeance on the Germans.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.