Saul Polinovskii was born in 1923 in Moscow. His father, Nukhim (Nahum) Polinovskii (1894-1966), was a renowned Moscow physician who, during the Soviet-German war of 1941-45, was a major (and, by the end of the war, a colonel) of the medical service and a member of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee. After the war, he collected materials and wrote for the "Black Book", which was edited by Ilia Ehrenburg and Vasilii Grossman, but was not published in the Soviet Union because of Stalin's intervention.
In October 1940, Saul Polinovskii entered an aircraft school, from which he graduated in 1941. He took part in several air battles, and was seriously wounded. After his discharge from hospital, he changed his military profession. In December 1942, Polinovskii returned to frontline combat as an anti-tank artillery officer. In this capacity, Lieutenant Saul Polinovskii saw action in western Russia, in the yearlong operation nicknamed "the Rzhev Meat-Grinder" by later Russian historians. At the time, he commanded an anti-tank battery of the 593rd Anti-Tank Regiment. In 1944, the regiment was transferred to the 2nd Belorussian Front, and Saul took part in the liberation of Belorussia. Saul Polinovskii was killed in July 1944, near the village of Nowa Wola, southeast of Białystok, Poland. He was buried in Grodno, in present-day Belarus. He was awarded two orders – the Order of the Patriotic War, 2nd class, and of the Patriotic War, 1st class (posthumously) – in addition to medals.
Saul's father Nukhim Polinovskii, a military surgeon, served throughout the war and was awarded two military orders. An article on him by Ezra Mariamov was published in the Moscow-based Yiddish newspaper Eynikayt.