Iakov Ozadovskii was born in 1911 in Berdichev, Ukraine. In the 1930s, he and his wife Feyge-Matlya settled in the town of Perovo, which was then an eastern suburb of Moscow, and which is now part of the city itself. On the second day of the Soviet-German war, June 23, 1941, Iakov was drafted into the Red Army. On July 14, he joined the 10th Rifle Division operating in Estonia, as part of the 4,500-men-strong reinforcement team that this division received on that day. In late July, he sent his only letter to his family. He took part in the Red Army's abortive attempt to hold Tallinn against the advancing German forces.
At the end of August, the Soviet command ordered the evacuation of the Red forces in Estonia from the Tallinn area to the Kronstadt naval base, near Leningrad (St. Petersburg). Approximately one half of the sea transports that were ferrying the 10th Division and other Soviet forces eastward were sunk by the enemy. Private Iakov Ozadovskii was not among those who made it to Kronstadt. It is unclear whether he died during the last battles for Tallinn or in the course of the evacuation.
Iakov's brother Isaak Ozadovskii, born in 1915, served with the 14th Army in the sub-Arctic zone, close to the border with Finland. In August 1941, he was injured, and died in the hospital.
Iakov's brother Israel Ozadovskii, born in 1913, served with the 173rd Rifle Regiment of the 2nd Shock Army, and took part in the defense of Leningrad. In December 1941, he was seriously wounded, and discharged from active service after a long stay in hospital. He died in 2002.
Iakov's mother Beila, as well as his in-laws who had stayed behind in Berdichev, were killed by the Nazis in September 1941.1
- 1. Based on the collection Nenapisannye pis'ma, ed. by Ozadovskii Dm.Ia. et alia, Moscow: [authors], 2010