Khona Fuks was born in 1915 in Nezhin, northern Ukraine, the only son of a hat maker. In his youth, he acted in various Yiddish amateur theater studios, and dreamt of becoming a professional actor. In the early 1930s, he attended the Mykola Lysenko Music and Drama Institute (known as the Kiev State Institute of Theater from 1934 on), and in the summer seasons acted in the studio of the renowned Jewish actor Adolf Segal, touring various towns of Ukraine. In the mid-1930s, he was forced to quit the Kiev Institute. Khona Fuks settled in Zaporizhzha, eastern Ukraine, where he worked as a mechanic at an artisans' cooperative (artel), and later as an administrator of the artel. In 1936, Fuks was drafted into the Red Army and assigned to the cavalry. He finished his three-year-long military service as a junior political leader (politruk). Fuks continued to work as a cultural administrator in Zaporizhzha, but also acted in Yiddish amateur theaters.
With the beginning of the Soviet-German war in June 1941, Khona Fuks was called up for frontline service. His first appointment was as political commissar of the separate (telephone) communications unit of the Southern Front, responsible for communication with the Front HQ and with the HQs of several armies and corps subordinated to the Front. It was here that he was wounded for the first time.
In 1942, Fuks was attached to the North Caucasian Front as the political leader of a rifle battalion at the 103rd Cadet Rifle Brigade. There, he took part in combat, participating in the defense of the Black Sea port-town of Novorossiisk and other towns. During the battles for Novorossiisk, the battalion lost communication with the brigade staff, and Fuks, together with another soldier, was tasked with bringing the report to the HQ (located at a distance of 22 kilometers) on foot. At a certain moment in the middle of the journey, the two couriers realized that they were surrounded by Germans; they were forced to engage the enemy, and broke out of the encirclement. Fuks was wounded, but did not stop, and the two soldiers delivered the report on time. Later, Fuks's citation for the medal "For Courage" asserted that, in this skirmish, he had personally dispatched nine enemy soldiers. This medal "For Courage" was awarded to Fuks after another break from enemy encirclement, in August 1942, when he managed to bring out the entire platoon.
While relating the stories of his breakthroughs to a correspondent of the Moscow-based Yiddish newspaper Eynikayt in 1943, Khona Fuks noted that, as a soldier, he regarded himself as an avenger for the murders of the Jews, about which he learned from newspapers at this time.
In 1944, Guards Senior Lieutenant Khone Fuks fought in Hungary with the 799th Rifle Regiment. His platoon was the first to enter the village of Szihalom. He was awarded the Order of the Red Star. According to the citation for the award, Fuks took 38 Hungarian soldiers captive before the battle for Szihalom, and was able to take 18 more prisoners after the capture of the village. He finished the war near Prague.
In 1985, on the 40th anniversary of V-E Day, Khone Fuks was decorated with the Order of the Patriotic War, 1st class.