Mikhail Porter was born in 1922 in Kerch in the Crimea. His father was the manager of a hotel. In 1940, Mikhail was drafted into the Red Army as a marine. From June 1941, the beginning of the Soviet-German war, Second Lieutenant Porter was at the front. In that year he took part in the defense of Odessa. In 1942 Porter fought in the Crimea and in the winter of 1942-1943 -- at Stalingrad.
When the Soviets recaptured Kerch on December 30, 1941, the 91st Communications Regiment, in which Mikhail was serving, entered the city. There Mikhail learned that most of his family had been murdered by the Nazis during the November 1941 mass shooting of local Jews at the Bagerovo Ravine, 4 kilometers from the city. His mother, grandparents, and sister (or, according to another source, younger brother) were killed, but his father Miron was only wounded and succeeded in escaping from the ravine. A Russian woman named Valentina Sokolova, who had worked with him before the war, hid Miron and, thus, saved his life. In 2004 Yad Vashem recognized Sokolova as one of the Righteous Among the Nations.
"After the death of [members of] his family, which was annihilated by the Germans, Comrade Porter became a very ardent in the struggle for our Mother-country" – stated the official citation for his 1943 military award. After completing his service as a communications officer, Porter went around "hunting for Fritzes." In other words, he captured several enemy soldiers and killed a number of others.
On January 31, 1943, i.e. two days before the capitulation of the 6th Army of Army Group South in Stalingrad, Porter and three soldiers of the 62th Army captured the headquarters of the 295th Infantry Division of the 6th Army, including its commander, Major-General Otto Korfes. For this deed, Porter was awarded the Order of Lenin.
The tribulations of Mikhail's father did not end with the first Soviet liberation of Kerch (see above). Miron Porter was interrogated by the reinstated draft commission of Kerch and, together with ca. 600 other citizens of Kerch accused of evading the draft. He was sentenced to serve in a punishment battalion. Miron Porter was wounded and shell shocked several times. He was demobilized only at the end of 1945.
Mikhail ended the war in Berlin and was demobilized four month earlier than his father.
Neither Miron nor Mikhail returned to Kerch after the war. Mikhail Porter settled in Leningrad. He earned a law degree and served as a judge and a prosecutor in Leningrad and, probably, also in the Leningrad Region. Miron settled in Moscow and began to drink heavily. However, he succeeded in overcoming this habit. He remarried and moved to Kazakhstan. Miron Porter died in 1970.