Mikhail (Moyshe) Aizengart was born in 1928 in Torczyn, Volyn, Poland into a Jewish family of traders. During the 1930s he attended a Zionist-oriented Hebrew language Tarbutschool in the town. In September 1939, following the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Torczyn, along with the whole Volyn Region, became part of the Soviet Ukraine. When war broke out on June 22, 1941 Aizengart was at a summer camp of Soviet Young Pioneers near the city of Kowel. Since Mikhail could not return to Torczyn because the roads in that direction were cut off, he was taken together eastward with the other children.
In orphanages of different cities in the Soviet interior he underwent professional training in metal working and was then employed at the Molotov Aircraft Construction Factory. In a 1996 interview, Aizengart commented about his constant worry regarding the fate of his family during the war:
"The Soviet press was reporting on the persecutions of the Jews by the Germans and also the mass murder of Jews in Poland and in the occupied territories of Russia [i.e. Soviet Union]. [At that time] I knew nothing about my family that remained in Torczyn but, while reading about the German atrocities, I feared for the fate of my family." (USC Shoah Foundation Institute, University of Southern California; copy YVA, O.93/23310)
In 1943 or 1944 Mikhail Aizengart stowed away on an airplane that was flying to a Northern Baltic Fleet Air Force base near the port city of Murmansk. Eventually, despite his young age, he succeeded in joining the Soviet Naval Air Force, under the name of Mikhail Popov (that he invented apparently in order to prevent his being Jewish from being an obstacle to serving in this elite force). Due to his age he was treated like "a son of the regiment" and served as an aircraft mechanic.
Years later Aizengart noted the role that his being Jewish played in his ability to carry out this difficult assignment:
"My work was very hard and responsible. Our base was always bombed [by the Germans]. [Nevertheless] the aircraft had to always be ready to fly. Despite the aerial bombing I had to work … day and night. Besides, the weather condition of 40 degrees below zero bothered me since I wasn't used to such extreme cold. In the course of time I got used to these conditions.… My awareness of the fact that by fighting the Germans I was avenging my [Jewish] brothers who had been murdered in camps, ghettos, and crematoria gave me the strength [to go on]."
As a qualified mechanic he was in charge of the military equipment and weaponry (such as machine-guns) that was loaded onto the aircraft. During military operations he also served as an aerial gunner, operating machine-guns and covering his plane from German fire. He took part in the battles of Konigsberg and Berlin. Between 1944 and1945 he received two military honors, the Order of the Patriotic War "for military combat service" and a decoration "for courage."
In September 1945, following the military conflict between the Soviet Union and Japan (August 9 - September 2, 1945) the unit in which Aizengart was serving was reassigned to the Pacific Fleet Air Force, near Port Arthur in the Soviet Far East, to fight against the Japanese navy.
In 1947, when on vacation, he returned to his hometown of Torczyn, Aizengart learned that his father Nachman, along with other relatives, had been shot to death by the Germans outside the town in the summer of 1941. After they had survived the local ghetto and mass murders, his mother Hinda and little sister Mena were hanged by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army shortly before the liberation of the town by the Red Army.
After his demobilization in 1951, Aizengart returned to Torczyn, but eventually decided to leave: "I couldn't live [any longer] in the cemetery of my dear ones. Here every stone reminded me of my family and my childhood. It seemed that I saw their blood on every stone.…"
He left Torczyn for the city of Lvov (Lwów, Lviv) in Ukraine. In 1957 Mikhail, his wife, and daughter moved to Poland. The following year they immigrated to Israel. Shortly after their arrival Mikhail Aizengart joined the Bedek Aviation Company, which later became the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). Starting as an assistant aircraft mechanic, he was later promoted to the position of head of the military industry and aircraft construction technical control department. In the early 1990s he retired from the IAI to spend time with his family.