Evsey Semenovich Epshtein was born on April 6, 1923, in Kharkiv, Ukraine. In 1941, he graduated from high school and was drafted into the army. He fought with a Marine Corps infantry brigade and was wounded near Balaklava. In 1942, Epshtein graduated from an anti-aircraft artillery school with the rank of lieutenant; as a platoon commander of an anti-aircraft regiment, he participated in the Battle of Kursk, crossings of the Dnieper and Danube, operations in Moldavia and Romania, and the Siege of Budapest. He was awarded two Orders of the Patriotic War and the Order of the Red Star. After demobilization, Epshtein worked as head forensic medical examiner. In 1994 he emigrated to the US. The interview was recorded in Los Angeles in 2009.

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“[War] made a man out of me.”

Accidentally shooting down an Allied aircraft.

Protecting the only bridge left in Budapest.