Vasilii Zakharovich Korzh
Korzh, Vasilii Zakharovich
(partisan pseudonym, Komarov). Born Jan. 1 (13), 1899, in the village of Khorostovo, now in Luninets Raion, Brest Oblast; died May 5, 1967, in Minsk. A leader of the partisan movement in Byelorussia in the Great Patriotic War (1941-45); major general (1943); Hero of the Soviet Union (Aug. 15, 1944). Member of the CPSU from 1929. Son of a Byelorussian peasant.
In 1921-25, Korzh fought in K. P. Orlovskii’s partisan detachment, which operated in Western Byelorussia. Korzh came to the USSR in 1925, was chairman of several kolkhozes until 1931, and served in agencies of the People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs of the Byelorussian SSR from 1931 to 1936. In 1936-39 he participated as a volunteer in the ranks of the inter-nationalist fighters in Spain. He was a sovkhoz director in 1939-40. Korzh was appointed chief of a department of the Pinsk oblast committee of the Communist Party of Byelorussia in 1940.
At the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, Korzh formed an assault detachment that was later expanded into a large partisan unit under his command; in its combat operations this unit destroyed 60 German garrisons, derailed 478 enemy trains, blew up 62 railroad bridges, destroyed 86 tanks and armored vehicles and 29 guns, and put 519 km of communication lines out of commission. He retired for health reasons in 1946. Korzh was deputy minister of forestry of the Byelorussian SSR from 1949 to 1953 and chairman of the large Partizanskii krai Kolkhoz in Brest Oblast from 1953 to 1963. He was awarded two Orders of Lenin, two Orders of the Red Banner, the Order of the Patriotic War First Class, the Order of the Red Star, and various medals.