Simon Gorelik was born in 1920 in Nikolayev (Mykolaiv), Ukraine. His father Wolf was a worker. In the late 1920s, the family moved to Leningrad, where Wolf Gorelik found employment at the Skorokhod shoe factory. After finishing school in the city, Simon decided to become a career military officer. To this end, he enrolled in the Leningrad Tank Technical School in 1939. A year later, it was transformed into the Military Automotive School.
Following the outbreak of the Soviet-German War in late June 1941, Gorelik finished his studies, and was sent to the front in Western Ukraine. Under the onslaught of the Wehrmacht, the Red Army retreated, and Simon Gorelik was wounded in one of the defensive battles, in early August 1941. After recuperating at a hospital, he returned to frontline duty. Gorelik was attached to a motorized rifle battalion, which was part of an armored corps. He saw heavy combat in Stalingrad in the winter of 1942-1943. By the spring of 1943, his battalion had virtually run out of personnel and vehicles. As a result, it was sent to Belgorod Oblast to be reformed.
Simon Gorelik was tasked with forming the brigade's mechanized company, which had to transport motorized rifle battalions. Its vehicle fleet consisted mostly of captured German stock. However, in 1943 Gorelik began to receive American vehicles, which were being shipped to the USSR as part of the "Lend-Lease" policy.
Gorelik took part in the crossing of the Dnieper River, the Zhitomir-Berdichev offensive, the battles for Lublin (Poland), and many other engagements. In 1944, he became head of the automotive department of the corps. He repeatedly ran into difficulties with the representative of the "special department," but these conflicts had no serious repercussions for him.
Simon met V-E Day in Berlin, and left his signature on the wall of the Reichstag.
In the course of the war, Simon Gorelik was awarded the Order of the Patriotic War, 1st and 2nd class; the Order of the Red Star, and some medals.
Simon's younger brother, Mikhail, was killed during the first year of the war, in the defense of Leningrad. Their father, Wolf, had also been called up, despite his advanced age, and he went on to serve in the Red Army throughout the war.
After the end of the war, Simon Gorelik continued his military career. He served in Brest Oblast, as deputy commander of a motorized rifle regiment. He retired from the armed forces in 1961, and settled in Gomel.