Genrikh Kats was born in 1924 in Poltava, central Ukraine. When the Soviet-German war began, he was only 17 years old (having finished nine classes of school); he managed to escape to Tajikistan (Central Asia), where he worked at a military factory. In summer 1942, upon turning 18, he was drafted and sent to an infantry school. A year later, in July 1943, Genrikh had his "baptism of fire" as a mortar gunner at the Kursk Salient. In August 1943, he was wounded for the first time. His second injury, in September 1943, was more serious. After a lengthy stay in hospital and three surgeries, he was attached to the 41st Infantry Corps of the 3rd Army. There, Katz was recommended for service in reconnaissance – and, in May 1944, he was assigned to a separate reconnaissance company of the 283rd Rifle Division.
Genrikh Kats was to spend the rest of the war as a reconnaissance man. Being tall and physically strong (as a youth, Genrikh had practiced boxing), he was attached to a squad tasked with capturing German "informers" in the enemy rear and bringing them to the division HQ. After several successful raids behind enemy lines, Sergeant (later Sergeant Major [starshina]) Kats became a platoon commander. In his reconnaissance raids, he managed to capture about 20 enemy "informers", to say nothing of the prisoners he took in combat.
In 1944-45, Genrikh Kats fought in Belorussia, and then in Poland. In 1945, he saw action in East Prussia. He was awarded the Order of the Red Star; two Orders of Glory, 3rd and 2nd class; the Order of the Patriotic War, 2nd class, and several medals.
Genrikh Kats died in Israel in 2008.