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Veteran medal given for service in the Soviet Army to a World War II veteran

Object | Accession Number: 2003.449.4

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    Veteran medal given for service in the Soviet Army to a World War II veteran

    Overview

    Brief Narrative
    Russian veteran badge given to Ilya Yoffe in recognition of his service as an officer in the Soviet Army during World War II. The badge may have been given to Ilya as a sign of acknowledgement by a friend or acquaintance. On June 22, 1941, Germany invaded the Soviet Union. Ilya Yoffe was an enlisted student at the political military school in Bryansk. After completing his military education in February 1942, he fought on the First Baltic Front from April to May 1943, where he took part in the defense of Leningrad. In early 1945, he was transferred to the 269th Guard Rifle Regiment of the 88th Guard Rifle Division. From April 1945 until the end of the war, Lieutenant Yoffe fought on the First Belorussian Front. His regiment fought in the Battle of Berlin where he participated in street to street combat, capturing three fortified houses in the city and apprehending thirty German prisoners. After the conclusion of the war, Ilya moved to Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg).
    Date
    received:  after 1945
    Geography
    received: Soviet Union
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Ilya Yoffe
    Markings
    front, bottom, embossed : ВЕТЕРАН [Veteran]
    back, center, embossed : u50k
    Contributor
    Subject: Ilya Yoffe
    Biography
    Ilya Ilyich Yoffe was born on January 13, 1918 in Kalinkovich (now Kalinkavichy), Belarus, to a Jewish couple, Yudka and Rachel Izraeliwna Schnuker Yoffe. Ilya had an older brother Dr. Gershon Grisha Yoffe, born on March 19, 1913, in Belarus. Before 1918, Belarus was part of the Russian Empire, however much of Belarus was under German occupation in 1918 due to World War I. In March 1920, during the Russo-Polish War, Kalinkovich was occupied by the Polish army. Many Jews were robbed and suffered from violence and 32 Jews were killed in a pogrom. In 1921, the Treaty of Riga ended the Russo-Polish War and divided Belarus between Poland and the Soviet Union. In 1925, the Yoffes moved to Moscow where Ilya attended school until he was 19. He began working at a factory and trained as a locksmith and a fitter. In 1936, Ilya was sent to study communications by the Komsomol (VLKSM), an organization that spread Communist teachings and prepared young people for membership in the Communist Party.

    In September 1939, following the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, both Germany and Russia invaded and occupied Poland, dividing it between themselves, into western and eastern halves. That same year, Ilya joined the Soviet Army as a private and became a cadet at regimental school. In June 1940, he became the sergeant of his company. In spring 1941, Ilya attended the Kursk political military school in Bryansk and a few months later Germany and its Axis allies invaded the Soviet Union. In February 1942, Ilya was a deputy chief of the political department for the military infantry school in the Vologda region where he passed his military exam.

    Ilya fought on the First Baltic Front from April to May 1943, where he took part in the defense of Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg). In early 1945, he was transferred to the 269th Guard Rifle Regiment of the 88th Guard Rifle Division. From April 1945 until the end of the war, Ilya fought on the First Belorussian Front. His regiment fought in the Battle of Berlin where he participated in street to street combat. Ilya led his men in the capture of three fortified houses in the city which resulted in the apprehension of thirty German prisoners. The Soviet Army encircled the city and Vasily Chuikov, the commander of the 8th Guards Army, accepted the German surrender of Berlin.

    Ilya’s brother Gershon also fought in the war and was killed in action. By the end of his service, Ilya had reached the rank of Lieutenant. After the conclusion of the war, Ilya moved to Leningrad. He received disabled veteran status as a result of his wartime injuries. In 2000, he was given an honorary promotion to Colonel by decree of the president of the Russian Federation.

    Physical Details

    Language
    Russian
    Classification
    Military Insignia
    Category
    Medals
    Physical Description
    Medal in the shape of a shield constructed of gold colored metal with a central relief image. The bottom has a narrow, horizontal, dark red enamel banner with Cyrillic text inside. In the center are a gold colored, stylized hammer and sickle with a 5 pointed star and a gun barrel with a bayonet embossed on a smooth, gold colored background. On either side along the center edges are small green, red and gray banners in relief. On the left side the banner is superimposed over gold colored laurel leaves. At the top is a larger, dark red, waving enamel banner. The back is gold colored with a circular recessed center inside of which is a C clasp pin held by 2 pieces of soldered metal. There are markings above and below the clasp.
    Dimensions
    overall: Height: 1.000 inches (2.54 cm) | Width: 0.875 inches (2.223 cm) | Depth: 0.250 inches (0.635 cm)
    Materials
    overall : metal, enamel paint

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    The medal was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2003 by Ilya Yoffe.
    Record last modified:
    2023-08-31 15:02:29
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn514835

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