Former Bălţi Residents in the Ranks of the Allied Forces
In the years preceding WWII, a number of Bălţi's residents had gone to study in Western Europe. They joined the underground struggle against the Nazi invaders. Many were caught and murdered.
Alya Zaslovski, member of the Beitar movement, studied engraving at the workshop of Rozentoler in Bălţi with a view to working in the profession in Eretz Israel. He excelled in both Hebrew and Yiddish studies. After emigrating to Eretz Israel he joined the British army, fighting in Greece, where he fell into German hands. Four years later, he was released and returned to Israel.
Menachem (Monya) Burdman studied at the Bălţi Gymnasium, and was a Beitar youth group leader in its local branch, as well as a member of the Etzel. In 1939, he emigrated illegally to Eretz Israel. When the Germans invaded the Balkans, he joined the British army. He took part in battles in North Africa, and was captured by German forces in Greece. After four years, at the end of the war, he was released, and married a Jewish volunteer that had taken care of him in London, on condition that she return with him to Israel.
Misha Fux emigrated from Bălţi to Eretz Israel. With the outbreak of WWII, he was running a farm in Kfar Baruch. In September 1944, Misha joined the Jewish Brigade, and in the spring of 1945 he fought in the frontlines, by the Senio River in Northern Italy. After the war, Misha taught hachshara training programs to Holocaust survivors in Tarvisio, Italy.
Aryeh (Leonya) Shechter was born in Bălţi and was a member of Hashomer Hatzair. He emigrated to Eretz Israel in 1939, and during WWII volunteered in the British army. In September 1944, he was sent to the front in Italy with the Jewish Fighters' Brigade. On 31 March 1945, Leonya was killed in an encounter with the Germans during a tour of enemy territory.
Chaim Gur (Gorochovski) was a member of Beitar in Bălţi. He was recruited and transferred to the Soviet Union without even being allowed to say goodbye to his mother, who was murdered later on. At the end of 1942, Chaim was injured and hospitalized in Stalingrad. During the battle for Berlin, he lost his left eye, but continued to fight, joining the Battle of Elbe. Chaim married Genya, whom he met while in central Asia, and the two emigrated to Eretz Israel.
Jacob (Yanya) Oren (Fichman) fled with the retreating Soviet forces and reached Caucasia. He was recruited to the army, and served as a paramedic. With the withdrawal of the Germans from Stalingrad, his unit was ordered to clear minefields, and help build bridges on the frontlines. In 1944, Yaakov arrived in Bălţi, where he met a survivor who told him that all his family had been murdered. Yaakov's unit moved westwards, continuing to build bridges and clear minefields under fire.
Moshe (Musya) Kora was a member of the Beitar leadership in Bălţi. During WWII, he served in the Red Army. After the war ended, he ran Revisionist youth groups in Romania. He continued this activity in detainee camps in Cyprus, where he was imprisoned as an illegal immigrant to Eretz Israel.