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Badge awarded to a Soviet veteran for the 25th anniversary of victory over Germany

Object | Accession Number: 2003.449.5

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    Badge awarded to a Soviet veteran for the 25th anniversary of victory over Germany

    Overview

    Brief Narrative
    Russian war veteran badge awarded to Ilya Yoffe in recognition of his service as an officer in the Soviet Army during World War II. The badge was instituted March 17, 1970 and was issued to all Soviet veterans for their gallantry and bravery during World War II as well as foreign citizens, veterans, and heads of delegations who visited the Soviet Union to participate in the celebration on May 8, 1970. This badge was issued to over 11 million people. 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
    issue:  1970 May 08
    Geography
    manufacture: Soviet Union
    issue: Soviet Union
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Ilya Yoffe
    Markings
    front, center, embossed : 1945- / 1970
    front, bottom around perimeter, embossed : 25 ЛЕТ ПОБЕДЫ В ВОИНЕ 1941-1945г.г. : 25 years of victory in the war 1941-1945
    Contributor
    Subject: Ilya Yoffe
    Artist: Alexander Zhuk
    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 with a relief image constructed of gold colored metal with an attached heptagonal medal bar. The medal is circular in shape and superimposed over a five pointed star. The lower half of the circular raised center has a red enamel, semicircle banner with Cyrillic text around the perimeter, the top half is wrapped with a laurel branch. In the center is a raised image of a soldier standing, right foot planted, on the Reichsadler; the stylized eagle that was a symbol for the Nazis. In the soldier’s right hand is a red enameled Soviet flag with a hammer, sickle and star in the top left corner. In his left hand is a submachine gun equipped with a shoulder strap. The top suspension has a ring that connects the medal to the medal bar. The medal bar has 5 raised alternating diagonal black and orange stripes with a laurel branch superimposed over them. The back of the medal bar has a C clasp pin attached with four pieces of soldered metal. The back of the medal and bar are smooth and shiny and the medal has a recessed center.
    Dimensions
    overall: Height: 2.625 inches (6.668 cm) | Width: 1.375 inches (3.493 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​/irn514836

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