Suicide medallion (pencil case)

Death medallion (penal case), which belonged to Vasyl Pylypovich Bereza (1913 – 1941), senior lieutenant of the 972nd rifle regiment of the 255th rifle division of the Reserve Army, which defended the city of Dnipropetrovsk in August 1941 from the German-fascist invaders and held defenses to the south – the eastern approaches to the city. Bereza V.P. died in battle on August 20-23, 1941, but was listed as missing. In 1971, during excavations on the right bank of the Sura River, the remains of four soldiers were found. One of them was found to have a suicide medallion with a memorial note in the name of V.P. Bereza.

Medallions of suicide bombers in the Red Army were introduced in 1925 and were issued to all servicemen. The medallion is a dark brown ebonite hexagonal capsule with a lid, 50 mm long. and 14 mm in diameter. On a paper insert, the serviceman wrote down: his personal name; year of birth; Military rank; city of birth: village, city, region, republic; conscription officer; family address

From 1925 to 1941, medallions in the Red Army were canceled several times. On March 15, 1941, they were introduced again, and on November 17, 1941, they were canceled, considering that one Red Army book is enough. Despite this, during the war many soldiers continued to keep the medallions, but most did not leave any commemorative notes.