Vladimir Shenderovich was born as Velvl (Volf) Shenderovich in 1923 in Kalinkovichi, southern Belorussia. His maternal grandfather was an affluent tradesman. However, in the early 1920s his workshop and stall were destroyed in a fire. The family became poor overnight. As a fortunate result, under the Soviets no family member was later classified as a "bourgeois element" and sent to Siberia. Velvl's mother died in 1936. In May 1941 Shenderovich entered the Kiev Military Medical School.
In June 1941 Operation Barbarossa began. In July the studies at the medical school were halted and the students were sent to participate in the defense of Kiev since the enemy was close to the Ukrainian capital. The first task his unit fulfilled brilliantly was to stop a German column that was moving toward Kiev; the Germans retreated with serious losses. However, the cadets' rejoicing was short-lived; within a short time a squadron of low-flying German Junkers destroyed the Soviet trenches and about half of the medical cadets were killed or wounded.
After this battle, the Kiev Military Medical School was evacuated to the Urals. The program of study was shortened and, in January 1942, Shenderovich was sent to be part of a new regiment that was being formed. From July 1942 onwards his 312th Rifle Division participated in the Red Army offensive west of Moscow, with the aim of recapturing Smolensk. Shenderovich's post was that of medical orderly (feldsher), whose first task was to remove the wounded from the battlefield – usually under enemy fire. In the summer of 1943 Vladimir volunteered to be part of a unit dispatched to bring back to headquarters an enemy "informer" to provide information. The group failed in their mission (when the Germans discovered them) but the following enemy cannon fire directed at them disclosed the German positions. Furthermore, Shenderovich succeeded in bringing the wounded commander of the group back to the regiment and for that he was awarded the medal For Courage.
After fighting in the Smolensk area (where Shenderovich was wounded), his new regiment was sent first to Pskov (northwestern Russia), then in 1944, to northwestern Ukraine. From there he was able to visit his native Kalinkovichi. He was shocked – not only by the sight of the destruction, but even more by the fact that there was not a single Yiddish-speaker left in his native shtetl.
In the summer of 1944 Shenderovich fought through Poland, participating in the forcing of the Vistula and the capture of Warsaw and Poznań. Later he took part in the fighting in Germany, including the forcing of the Oder River. Senior Lieutenant Shenderovich met Victory Day in the vicinity of Berlin.
At the end of 1945 Shenderovich was released from the Red Army. He settled in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), graduated from a medical institute, and then worked as a surgeon.
In the early 1970s Vladimir Shenderovich immigrated to Israel, where he lived in Jerusalem. He died in 2009.