Efim Davidovich Kutz was born on July 17, 1922, in Volyn Oblast, Ukraine. Five days after war erupted Germans entered his village. Kutz fled to the nearby forest; his family was killed. Moving from village to village, begging locals for shelter at the risk of their own lives, he survived for several months. In the fall, a Soviet biplane arrived to evacuate a general from enemy encirclement, and Kutz was allowed on board. In November 1941 he arrived in Fergana (eastern Uzbekistan), where he worked at a petroleum plant. In May 1944, rejecting his military deferment, he volunteered for the army, and after brief training in the reserves was deployed to the 3rd Belorussian Front, serving in the communications platoon of a detached artillery regiment. Kutz’s war service included fighting in the Baltics, Poland, and East Germany. After demobilization in 1947, he lived in Kyiv, graduated from the Communications Polytechnical Institute, and worked as a communications manager until his emigration to the US in 1977.  After his arrival in America, Kutz worked in the mail department of a major insurance company for 15 years. The interview was recorded in Los Angeles on March 17, 2009.


Efim Kutz is forced by a Ukrainian to flee to the forest when the Germans arrive.

Locals killed and locals saved.

Efim Kutz believes fate preserved him on May 9, 1945.