The legendary «Major Vikhr» died in Kiev

A well-known intelligence officer, the Major-General, the Veteran of the Second World War, the Hero of Ukraine, the man who has become a prototype of the legendary «Major Vikhr «, Evgeniy Stepanovich Berezniak passed away on November 24. He passed away 3 months before his 100 anniversary.

Evgeniy Stepanovich Berezniak was born on February 25, 1914 in Ekaterinoslav town. Before the war he worked as a teacher, and later headed the City Department of Education in Lvov.
In 1941 he was a member of the conspiracy organization and worked as a propagandist and communication agent. In 1943 he was sent to the school of the Main Intelligence Directorate, after finishing of which he headed the group of the military intelligence officers under the code named «Golos» (the literary meaning «voice»).

On the night of August 19, 1944, the group landed in Poland, near Krakow and served the military mission during 156 days there. In a relatively short time the group, under the command of Berezniak, managed to obtain the plan of mining of Krakow, to collect and to transmit reliable information about the dislocation of the Nazi armies and air divisions to headquarters of the 1st Ukrainian front, and, by this, to prevent destruction of the city.

However, the government paid him back by sending him to the camps. After the mission in Krakow Berzniak was captured by Gestapo, but managed to escape. Later, he got to the filtration camp of the NKVD of the USSR # 174 in Podolsk, where he was subjected to numerous check-ups for a long time. Berezniak received final rehabilitation only in 1965.

After the war he continued his career of a teacher, was awarded the title of the Hero of Ukraine, wrote many articles for the newspapers and magazines.
Evgeniy Berezniak has become a prototype of the main character of the novel by Yulian Semyonov “Major Vikhr”, and its screen version by film director Yevgeny Tashkov in 1967.

It is noteworthy that, on November 20 the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine nominated the 100th anniversary of Berezniak as one of the five memorable dates of 2014.

Виктор Другоруб


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