Vulf Zelionyi was born in 1923 in Kharkov, Ukraine. At the beginning of the Soviet-German war in June 1941, he went to work at the Kharkov Aircraft Factory. In October 1941, the factory was evacuated to the Urals, and Zelionyi and his family went along with it. In April 1942, Vulf was drafted into the Red Army and sent to an artillery school. Four months later, he was dispatched to the front lines. Serving in the artillery reconnaissance, he took part in the Battle of Stalingrad, for which he was decorated with the medal "For Courage". In early 1943, Senior Sergeant Zelionyi was appointed commander of a topographic platoon. In July 1943, he was killed in action in the Belgorod area (southern Russia).
The deputy commander of Vulf Zelionyi's battalion sent the following letter to his parents:
"The command of the military unit F[ield] P[ost] 28865sh is informing you that, on July 21, 43, C[omrade] Zelionyi, Vulf Iosifovich, was sent as part of a three-men squad to carry out a military assignment, and was blown up [to death] after triggering an enemy mine".
Sokhrani moi pis'ma…, vol. 1, eds. Ilia Altman, Leonid Tiorushkin. Moscow, Tsentr "Kholokost", 2007, pp. 186-189
From a letter written by Vulf Zelionyi to his parents:
"Let me inform you, my darlings, that, for my modest contribution to the destruction of the enemy group and the liberation of our hero-city of Stalingrad, I have been recommended for a state award by the command…. Dear daddy and mommy! These are hard times for our entire multi-ethnic people, and for the Jewish people in particular… The bloody hands of Hitler want to enslave it – or, worse yet, to eradicate it from the face of the earth – but they will not succeed. The Jewish people will show them who is truly righteous; they will take revenge for their martyred daughters and sons. As a son of the Jewish people… keeping all that in mind, I have fought the enemy bravely, valiantly, caring nothing for my own life and strength – all for the sake of our people."
Sokhrani moi pis'ma…, vol. 1, eds. Ilia Altman, Leonid Tiorushkin. Moscow, Tsentr "Kholokost", 2007, pp. 186-7