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Yevgenia Iosifovna Merlis

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Born 1922, city of Kharkov, Ukraine [former USSR]. Worked as a nurse in evacuation at an army hospital #3329 in a city of Stalinsk, Novosibirsk region, Soviet Union for 3 years during the World War II. Completed freshmen year at 1st Kharkov Medical Institute [School] on brinks of World War II. Continued Medical School studies at 1st Kharkov Medical Institute [School] after the war. An author of 8 medical science publications. Decorated with a medal “For Victory in Great Patriotic War 1941-1945”, “For Victory in Great Patriotic War 1941-1945 – 50 Year Jubilee”, “For Victory in Great Patriotic War 1941-1945 – 55 Year Jubilee”, “For Victory in Great Patriotic War 1941-1945 – 60 Year Jubilee”, and “American Veterans Association 1941-1945 – 55 Year Jubilee.” Her father fell victim of Stalin’s oppression and was arrested by suspicion of economic sabotage in banking industry of the Soviet Union. Presently resides in Minneapolis, MN.

“Guys were young, you know. Our army hospital had been adapted by a teachers college. And the recovering soldiers began to date college girls. At nights, those who could – ran to dates. And during morning stuff meetings the nurse on duty used to report that such and such patient didn’t sleep in the ward. We were anxious, “Where and how those injured soldiers were gone missing?” There was an officer ward, right across my office. I came over to them and said: “Guys, let’s have a gentlemen’s agreement, if you do need to leave, tell me where you are heading to, so I am aware of it. I promise to tell nobody! But I must know where you are”. And one of them said: “Zhenya [diminutive for Yevgenia], I am just 19 years old. I have not had a woman yet. I’ve been lightly wounded. I am returning to front lines for sure. And I doubt that I’m always gonna be as lucky as I’ve been before. I must get some joy in life!” What could I have replied to that? I only asked them to tell me where they were heading to.”

Photo by Kamil Dadashev

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