Natan Firun

1924 - 2021

My late father-in-law Natan Firun was born in Kyiv in 1924. In 1929 his family moved to Leningrad. They lived at some point in the Muruzi house, some other residents of which over the ages were Nikolai Leskov, Merezhkovskiy and Gippius, and Joseph Brodsky. The family later moved to a house on Mokhovaya, earlier the home of Vladimir Stasov and Taras Shevchenko.

In 1939, Natan enrolled in а specialized artillery school. When the war with the Nazi Germany started, he volunteered for the poorly trained and equipped militia and was wounded for the first time. At the beginning of the blockade of Leningrad he was evacuated with the artillery school to the interior. Upon graduation, he went to the front and commanded an artillery battery through most of the rest of the war. Natan was wounded several times, including in his last battle in January, 1945 near Koenigsberg.

After the war, he became a scientist and an inventor, also authoring widely popular books in his field, mechanical engineering and metrology. He founded and headed a research lab. When in 1978 my wife and I applied for emigration, he was fired from his job and his lab was eliminated. By 1989, at the height of perestroika, he was able to emigrate and join us in America. He died in 2021 at the age of 97.

Natan's Last Battle, January 1945
His decoration citation

The enemy attacked Lt. Firun’s battery with an infantry company, supported by artillery pieces and several armored vehicles. When one of his gunners was wounded, Lt. Firun took over and continued the fight under the hurricane of mortar and machine gun fire, repulsed the attack, enabling the counterattack against the Germans. He was gravely wounded in this battle. (This was his last wound and battle of the war. By the time he was rehabilitated, the war was over.)

Memoirs
(in Russian)

World War II

Февраль 1942 года (February of 1942)

Станция “Крынки” (Krynki Station)

Румшишкес (Rumšiškės, Lithuanian town)

Biographical and Miscellaneous

ФРАГМЕНТЫ Вместо биографии (FRAGMENTS Instead of biography)

Керосиновая лавка (Kerosene shop)

Леонардо (Back to the Future)