(JTA) – Yefim Haim Goldberg, a 106-year-old Jewish veteran of World War II who was honored frequently by the governments of Belarus and Russia, has died in Vladivostok in Russia’s Far East. Reports did not indicate if he died of COVID-19, which is relatively rare in Vladivostok and the region of Primorsky Krai.
Goldberg served in the Red Army’s 36th Tank Brigade and the troops he commanded – he was in charge of a platoon – continued from the Belarusian front all the way to Berlin. His unit was among the ones sent to take the Reichstag, the parliament and seat of the Nazi German government. Goldberg received at least four medals from the two governments over the years. He also was an author and poet. He was born in what today is Belarus when it was still part of czarist Russia. He served in the Russian army for several years and then began studying history at a university in Moscow. But his studies were cut short because of World War II. After the war Goldberg, who grew up in landlocked Belarus, joined Russia’s Far Eastern Shipping Company and became a sailor, which is why he settled in the port city of Vladivostok. He sailed for 25 years.