|Appears in||Call of Duty: Black Ops|
Call of Duty: Black Ops III
|Status||Alive (as of Ascension)|
Unknown (Origins Timeline)
|Level||Ascension, Zetsubou No Shima (mentioned only), Gorod Krovi|
- "Thank the Heavens, I have been trapped in the void for so long... w-will I finally be free?"
- — Gersh in Gorod Krovi
Gersh was a Soviet scientist and the leader of the Ascension Group. Gersh oversaw Project Thunder and worked with Yuri Zavoyski on the Gersh Device (Project Mercury) before he transferred Yuri to rocket research. During Yuri's descent into madness, Gersh noted his increased aggression towards the other scientists, as well as the fact that he muttered to himself. He then confronted Yuri when he found him working on the Gersh Device, and threatened to have him permanently removed. Yuri tricked Gersh into activating the Device, which sucked him into the black hole; the triggering of the Device is possibly responsible for the appearance of Zombies in the cosmodrome. He was originally thought to be dead, but was in fact trapped by the Casimir Mechanism. After being freed by Tank Dempsey, Nikolai Belinski, Takeo Masaki and Edward Richtofen, it is unknown what became of him.
In a cipher in Zetsubou No Shima, Gersh is revealed to be existing in an ethereal form, wandering the universe. Having lost track of time and space, he can only see his current location, "a city on fire by the river".
He appears in Gorod Krovi, and is part of the map's easter egg, Love and War. Gersh can be found as a glowing yellow orb that flies throughout the map. S.O.P.H.I.A. requests the Origins crew to retrieve him as part of the Ascension Protocol. As Gersh keeps floating around, he constantly rambles on and on about his state of existence. After being provoked enough times, he begins to recognize the crew, though he does not realize that they are a younger version of the crew he met before. Gersh agrees to travel to S.O.P.H.I.A.'s location, where she proceeds to extract information from him, a process that she claims to be "mostly painless". Gersh is heard screaming in agony, and his status is left unknown.
It is revealed by Doctor Monty in a radio from the remastered Ascension that Gersh fought alongside Dempsey, Nikolai and Takeo while Richtofen was "away". It is currently unknown when that happened. Monty also describes Gersh as "bald", confirming that the bald man in the promotional poster for the First Strike DLC was Gersh.