World War II Arthur Bondar Collection

Borovsky. Soviet partisans and liberated Crimea

Alexander Borovsky / The Soviet Army / 37 photos

Partisan photographer, derailing trains. Unknown negatives of Alexander Borovsky

The name of Alexander Borovsky is not often found among the names of famous photographers of the Great Patriotic War. He did not become a legend of Soviet war photography, but like many others, was unfairly forgotten by time. But his remaining and surviving photos are invaluable historical evidence of the World War II period.

Borovsky Alexander Nikiforovich was born in the village of Stachek (Belsky district, Grodno region) in the Belarusian SSR in 1912. Borovsky participated in the Soviet-Finnish war. He was in the 9th Army, and from 1941 Alexander Borovsky, with the rank of captain, worked as a photographer for the newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda (Red Star).

“In May 1942, being on the North-Western Front, Borovsky among a group of commanders was sent across the front line to partisan detachments, with the task to cover the struggle of partisans behind enemy lines, which he successfully accomplished. At the same time, Borovsky was actually a partisan fighter, took part in battles with a punitive expedition of the Germans - showing courage and bravery. In addition, Borovsky with a group of bombers mined the railroad in the rear of the enemy, as a result of which the German trains were derailed. And in this case Borovsky as a commander and a fighter showed himself a good fighter.”

From the award list Order of the Patriotic War II degree
June 30, 1943.

Alexander Borovsky was not only a frontline photographer, but also a writing correspondent. From his assignment with partisans behind German lines, he made a report that appeared in the newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda on July 15, 1942:

The fascist punitive expedition burned villages for the tiniest of reasons: for failure to fulfill the most minor orders, for a swear word spoken by a collective farmer to a German soldier, for insufficient delivery of animals, for the fact, for example, that girls, residents of the village, sang the song "Katyusha" in the hut, etc.

Death, slave labor, fires - that's what the fascist scoundrels brought to the peasantry. The fascists don't hide it! In their dirty newspapers, published in Russian, they print orders and announcements in which the population is promised one thing: death. We have one of these vile papers in front of us: "Pavlovskaya Pravda". ... The paper ends with such a statement characterizing the degree of hunger and poverty to which the population of the occupied regions has been reduced:

"In the villages the population, citing hunger, digs up the corpses of fallen animals and eats them. It is forbidden to dig up the corpses of animals. Failure to do so is punishable by firing squad."


In total, in one Dedovichi district of the Leningrad region, the Germans burned 95 villages, including the villages of Porevichi, Degzho, Oprasovo, Pustoshka, Bolotnya, etc. In Belebelkovsky district out of 11 villages the Germans burned 10.

Borovsky went through the entire war and was awarded the medal "Partisan of the Patriotic War" (1943), the Order of Patriotic War II degree (1943), the medal "For the Defense of Moscow" (1944) and the medal "For Victory over Germany in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-45" (1945).

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The Liberation of Europe: From France to Germany
Author unknown / The US Army / 37 photos