Irza Ashirov was born in 1924 in Lankaran (Lenkoran), a town in southeast Azerbaijan, close to the border with Iran, into a family of Mountain Jews. Before the Soviet-German war began in June 1941, he graduated from a seven-year school and from a pedagogical school, and then enrolled in the faculty of history of the Baku Teachers Institute. When the war began, Ashirov attempted to volunteer for the Red Army, but was rejected for being too young. Nevertheless, at the beginning of 1942, the 17-year old Ashirov was drafted and sent to an infantry school in Georgia. In August 1942, when the German forces were approaching the borders of Georgia, the school was closed, and its cadets, instead of being promoted to officer rank, were sent to the frontline as sergeants and senior sergeants. Irza became the commander of a squad in the 121st Rifle Regiment that was operating in the Caucasus Mountains.
In a memoir Ashirov recalled that his baptism by fire took place on one of his first days at the front. He was ordered to capture a German informer. The feldwebel who was his target resisted being taken and Ashirov was wounded but the Red Army man completed his mission. In January 1943, during the Red Army counter-offensive in the Northern Caucasus, Irza attempted to destroy an enemy machine-gun bunker with hand grenades but was severely wounded by fire from another enemy machine gun. Only on the fourth day after his injury was Ashirov found and taken to a hospital. Both his legs were amputated. Later he was transferred to a hospital in Tskhinvali (then Staliniri, in Georgia), where he spent half a year. Ashirov recalled that the all the nurses in his department were Jewish and they bought chickens at the local market (at their own expense) and prepared soup for him. More significantly, they convinced him that his life was not over
Ezra Ashirov recalled that one day, a Gypsy musical ensemble came to the Tskhinvali hospital to entertain the wounded. Ashirov was put in the first row of the spectators. A singer appeared before them, a 40 to 45 year-old woman who saw the legless young man lying before her. She burst into tears and was unable to sing. Other musicians and dancers also began to cry. Realizing that the concert would be ruined if the performers were not rallied, Ashirov loudly asked them to continue the performance. He noted that this event was a turning point for him – he felt the desire to live. After the war Ezra Ashirov married and succeeded in living almost a full life.
For his destruction of the enemy bunker (it proved to be the command bunker), Ashirov was recommended for the Order of the Patriotic War, 1st Class. But was awarded it only in 1985.
At present Ezra Ashirov lives in the United States, in Brooklyn.
 Trostanteskii, Ie., et al., Voina sovsem ne feierverk, Tel Aviv, 1999, p. 39.