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Leizer Papiernik, Soviet Jewish Hero, Killed in Single-handed Fight with 400 Nazis

August 21, 1942
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The heroic death of Leizer Papiernik, one of the nationally-known Jewish fighters in the Russian Army who twice in this war received the highest award for bravery, is reported in the Soviet press today. He died on the front fighting against several hundred Germans who attacked his detachment of twenty-three soldiers.

“Outnumbered by the enemy, the detachment under Papiernik’s command nevertheless held their ground,” the report states. “Papiernik killed a substantial number of Germans, but in the end he remained one against 400. The last of his comrades had fallen, but single-handed, he fought on, exacting more toll of the Germans until he himself had fallen.”

The military commissar of the Division in which the Jewish hero served, eulogizing Papiernik, today declared in a statement to the press: “The memory of Papiernik’s heroic detachment will live forever and will become a legend in our history.” A memorial meeting was held today in the factory in which Papiernik worked prior to his joining the Red Army. The meeting was attended by special representatives of the government and the armed forces.

The Soviet press today reports the bestowing of the title “Hero of the Soviet Union” upon Chaim Dyskin, 18-year-old volunteer who also received the Lenin Order and the Red Star Order, the two highest decorations. A son of a Jewish peasant on the collective farm Kadimah, in the Crimea, young Dyskin was wounded fourteen times, but did not leave his cannon and succeeded in destroying five enemy tanks and preventing them from breaking the Russian position. He was carried by his commander to the first aid station after he finally fell unconscious beside his cannon.

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