The Fascist Nightmare of a Russian Surgeon

Nazis admired the professionalism and courage of a Russian doctor

People started sending letters to doctor Georgy Sinyakov in July of 1961 after the Literaturnaya Gazeta (Literature Newspaper) published a story about a legendary female pilot, Anna Yegorova. Fascist downed her plane in August of 1944. The "flying witch," as fascists called her, was taken to one of German concentration camps. She was in a very serious condition, although she was saved by a wonderful Russian doctor, whose name became known all over Europe by the end of the war.

Doctor Georgy Sinyakov cured Anna Yegorova, hid her decorations and communist party member certificate (she would be shot immediately, if fascists found that with her), saved her from tortures. However, none of his patients, none of his relatives knew anything of 1200 days of nightmare that Georgy Sinyakov had to go through at a fascist concentration camp, until the newspaper published a story about it.

After the war was over, Georgy came to the city of Chelyabinsk. He was the chief doctor of the surgical department of the city hospital and taught students at a medical institute. Georgy was a very good surgeon, he could do extremely hard operations. Everyone of his friends thought that he did not take part in the war. However, a lot of former prisoners of war were seeking for him, trying to contact their friend, who had saved their lives.

Sergey Miryuschenko, Georgy's adopted son, said that he always called Georgy his father. He was a brilliant surgeon, the whole city knew about him. During the post-war period, he operated on stomach ulcer, gullet cancer, performed plastic surgery on babies. He was a very kind man, he loved children and was always ready to do his best to help a child. He said that there were two professions, which excluded marriage, - a teacher and a doctor. Georgy Sinyakov was both. He hardly had any free time, but his patients worshipped him. He was repeatedly nominated for various awards, but none of them was awarded to him on account of the fact that the doctor had the experience at a fascist concentration camp. After the war, Georgy never said a word about the camp, so the story in the mentioned paper became an eye-opener for a lot of people, even for his wife and adopted son. After the publication of the article, Georgy received a lot of letters both from Russians and foreigners.

Thousands of prisoners were sent to the center of Germany. The Soviet sector of fascist concentration camps was the worst one of all, so a Soviet doctor was very good news for the sector. The first operation that Georgy performed at the camp was a stomach resection. Everyone, who was present at the operation,  realized that Sinyakovwas a first-class surgeon. He kept on working the whole day after he was through with the first operation, for there were 1500 wounded people in the barracks.

The hungry, exhausted, but determined Russian doctor worked for 20 hours non-stop. He became famous in the whole camp. He treated both Soviet and German prisoners, even the guards of the camp. Everyone at the camp admired his courage and professionalism, everyone tried to do something good for him. However, the doctor had to deal with the hardest tragedy of captivity - he missed his home terribly. In addition to that, he had a great wish to know, what was happening on the front. Georgy set up a contact with German translator Helmut Tschaher, who was married to a Russian wife. Leaflets with the information from the Soviet military news agency appeared in the camp soon, although fascist had already celebrated their victory in the Volga region. Those hand-written leaflets were precious pieces of paper for all Soviet prisoners.

Prior to the defeat of the German army, fascists loaded all prisoners in trains and left only 3000 wounded, sick and exhausted people in the camp. A new unit of soldiers arrived at the camp afterwards. Sinyakov sensed that something awful was about to happen. The new group of soldiers was ordered to destroy the camp completely. However, the doctor was not going to leave his patients, but he could do nothing to save them. He ventured to talk to German soldiers. No one knows, what he told them, but they all left the camp without even a shot. 

Soviet troops entered the concentration camp soon after that. Georgy Sinyakov started working again: there were 65 wounded servicemen among Soviet tankmen.

After the war, the doctor was given a medal for his labour achievements. However, he was given nothing for his deeds during the war. Pilots, tankmen, former prisoners tried to do their best in order to make the Soviet government award the USSR Hero title to Georgy Sinyakov. Yet, all those attempts yielded no results. He used to say: "Being a prisoner of war is a trouble, don't they give any awards for trouble? My reward is my life, the fact that I returned home, back to my family and work. My reward is those letters from the people, who I helped during their hours of need.”

Georgy Sinyakov died in 1978 at the age of 74. A crowd of people gathered for the funeral ceremony. It has been many years, but Georgy Sinyakov's grave is always neat. On April 18th his relatives, friends, colleagues, and disciples will gather at the medical museum in Chelyabinsk to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the wonderful Russian doctor.

Nina Chistoserdova
Chelyabinsk Worker

Author`s name Olga Savka