Shalom Yoran
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Another unit’s commander initially refused to let them in. When they persisted, they were offered a deal; if they returned to Kurzeniec and blew up the factory that made parts for rifles there, they could join. The Russian partisans considered it a suicide mission against this well guarded building, but Shalom and his friends succeeded regardless. Returning victorious, they learned the Russian partisans did not expect them to succeed and never intended to let them into their group because they were Jewish. Shalom then helped to form an all Jewish unit with over 200 Jews. In the wake of the German defeat at Stalingrad, Shalom’s unit harassed the retreating German troops, blowing up bridges and destroying railroads.
 
Shalom Yoran    Photo 2
Video still from interview with Shalom Yoran.
When Belarus was liberated by the Soviets in 1944 Shalom, along with his comrades, were drafted into the Russian regular forces. Fighting in the Red Army, he was appalled by the brutality and political persecution he experienced. Eventually he deserted and made his way to Italy, where he worked for the British Army through the end of the war. In 1946, Shalom traveled to Palestine with the aid of a fake British Military passport, joining the newly formed Israeli Army. Though he left Israel to attend an American university, he returned to become an officer in the renowned Israeli Air Force. In 2003, Shalom Yoran published his memoir, entitled The Defiant.
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