Moscow. May 2. INTERFAX – Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar expressed his condolences in connection with the death of the poet, the physician, tanker-ACE of the great Patriotic war ion Degen.
“Ordinary people, when faced with an obstacle, try to solve the problem and just go on. But there are unique people, for whom every problem is a personal challenge, a reason to of the obstacles to create new life. It was the ion Degen. As far as I know, he never talked about the difficulties – only solutions!” – said in a condolence Rabbi, quoted by his press service.
The Rabbi recalled that I. Degen from school he volunteered for the front, became a tanker, liberated cities, villages and the Nazi concentration camps saved thousands of lives. Then, having been wounded, went to medical school, successfully worked in the Soviet Union and Israel, have created methods of treatment that help people with disabilities.
“And there was also a cultural challenge! Jewish culture, Jewish history, the Jewish life in the twentieth century was under threat: assimilation, sometimes forced, and the tragedy of the Holocaust, and the state antisemitism in the Soviet Union, and the temptations of globalization… Than said ion Degen? Wonderful poems, lyrical prose, subtle essay on man in war, about Jewish history and the Jewish soul,” said Lazar.
According to him, today, many young men and women in different countries, read books I. Degen “and learn life on his bright example, and his characters have the look of a proud Jew, who they want to emulate”.
91-year-old I. Degen died on Friday in Israel. During participation in the fighting in the tank brigade crew I. Degen was destroyed 12 German tanks and four self-propelled guns, lots of guns, machine guns, mortars, and enemy personnel. He suffered severe burns and four injured. As a result of recent injuries on 21 January 1945, received disability. He was twice presented the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.
Also known as the doctor for the first time in the world presisi a severed hand, a poet, a writer. He is the author of the famous poem about the war “My friend”, written in December 1944. For a long time it was copied and passed down orally with a lot of distortion as a poem by an unknown author-the veteran. Authorship I. Degen only became known in the late 1980s.
In December 2014, the State Kremlin Palace hosted an awarding Degen prize of the Federation of Jewish communities of Russia “Fiddler on the roof”.