Chaim Gorelik was born in 1918 (according to his military papers – in 1917) in the shtetl of Parichi, near Bobruisk in eastern Belorussia. He graduated from a 7-year Yiddish school. For a long time Yiddish was his main language and he read Russian and French classical writers in Yiddish translation. In 1933 Chaim entered the Road Tekhnikum (technical college) in Minsk. After graduating in 1937, he was drafted into the Red Army, in which he served until 1939. Between 1939 and 1941 Gorelik worked in western Belorussia for a military technical office.
With the beginning of the Soviet-German war in June 1941, the agency where Gorelik worked was evacuated eastward. His parents left Parichi on their own. In January 1942, Gorelik was drafted again and sent to a cavalry school in the Urals. In December of that year, he graduated with the rank of lieutenant and was assigned to the 6th Cavalry Division as the commander of a platoon of a special saber unit. Most of the men in his unit were Cossacks. Contrary to the widespread view, cavalry was used during World War II by both the Soviets and the Germans alike and saber attacks took place at the front. Gorelik recalled that in March 1943, when his division was fighting in the Don region (on the so-called Mius Front, in the Russian-Ukrainian border area), his Cossack unit had to fight against a Don Cossack unit which was on the side of the Germans. Thus, Soviet Cossacks clashed with Cossack collaborators with the Germans. In one of the battles on the Mius Front Chaim was wounded in the buttock. When he came to be treated, the surgeon Major Lebedin, said that they had no painkillers so that Chaim would have to undergo the operation without them. Chaim responded: "Then can I sing?" Being a good singer, he sang Russian songs during the operation, during which Lebedin pulled removed small shell fragments from his wound. By chance, this surgeon operated on Gorelik twice more: in eastern Belorussia in 1944 and in February 1945 in German Pomerania. On those occasions the doctor asked the patient whether he was going to sing. Both times the answer was positive.
More than once the cavalryman Chaim Gorelik had to fight hand-to-hand against the enemy. In one case, in the summer of 1943 near Smolensk, in western Russia, his adversary, as previously, was a Russian collaborator of the Germans. After having been disarmed, this soldier in German uniform suddenly suddenly yelled out in native Russian. With desperation, he called on the Red Army men to turn their weapons against the "anti-Christians," meaning the Bolshevik commissars and the Yids. Instead of taking this turncoat prisoner, Gorelik shot him dead.
In another incident, while fighting in Belorussia, Gorelik himself was disarmed. Refusing to give up, Gorelik grabbed a piece of wood from a nearby fence and began to beat the Germans with the improvised weapon.
His Cossacks respected and even loved their Jewish commander, whom they trusted as an experienced officer.
Gorelik ended the war in Germany, on the Elbe River, where his unit met the U.S. Army. During the war he was awarded two military orders (those of the Red Star and of the Patriotic War, 1st Class) and a number of medals.
After the war Gorelik continued in army service. He retired in 1962 and settled in Moscow, where he worked as a construction engineer. In 1964 he began to write his war memoirs.
In 1991, Chaim Gorelik and his family emigrated and settled in Brooklyn, New York. In 2001, together with his son Gennadii, he published a book of memoirs titled Lekhaim, ili Khaim na kone [Lechaim, or Chaim on Horseback] in New York City. The book is in the form of a dialogue between Chaim and Gennadii. The last chapter of the book deals with the Holocaust in Chaim's native shtetl of Parichi.
Chaim Gorelik died in 2011.
 Gorelik, Gennadii; Gorelik, Chaim; Lekhaim, ili Khaim na kone [Lechaim, or Chaim on Horseback]. Seagull Press, 2001. Quoted from http://berkovich-zametki.com/2005/Zametki/Nomer7/Gorelik1.htm
 The episode is confirmed by Captain I. Neumoiev, the commander of Gorelik's cavalry unit and a Hero of the Soviet Union: "Iefim [sic!] Gorelik fought heroically. But suddenly a German knocked out his saber out of his hand. Iefim did not lose his head. He snatched a stake from a picket fence and began to beat the Germans with the stake. In this battle Iefim Gorelik killed 8 Germans." Quoted from the same internet site.