Pin made in Belarus. The text on the pin reads:”Vawkavysk”. Vawkavysk or Volkovysk is a town in Grodno Region, Belarus, and the administrative center of Vawkavysk District. Its population is estimated at 43,826 inhabitants. It is one of the oldest towns in the region. Vawkavysk was occupied by the German Army on 28 June 1941. At that time, about 7,000 Jews lived in the town, around 40 percent of the population. Around 1,000 people, mostly but not entirely Jews, were killed in the Luftwaffe bombardment of the town. Upon arrival, the Germans, with some assistance by local Poles and Belarusians, murdered several dozen Jews within the first week; another 200 were murdered in mid July, mostly business and professional men along with those who had handicaps. That summer, the Germans established a ghetto, forcing the town’s Jewish population into it. Five to ten families lived in each residence. The Germans conscripted Jews for forced labor of demolishing buildings and constructing new ones. The ghetto became a transit ghetto for Jews of Kreis Wolkowysk. About 20,000 Jews passed through it; most were sent on to Treblinka where they were immediately murdered. Others died in the ghetto from typhus or starvation. About 70 Jews of the original 7,000 Jewish residents survived the war. Some of the survivors had fled to the Soviet Union at the beginning of the war; others fought in the forests as partisans and a few survived Auschwitz.
Pin made in the Soviet Union, Belarus. The text on the pin reads:”Dzisna”. Dzisna is a town in the Vitebsk Region of Belarus.It has 1,500 inhabitants (2017 estimate) which has declined as in the 20th century it had close to 10,000 inhabitants. Dzisna is the smallest town of Belarus. From 1921 until 1939, Dzisna was part of the Second Polish Republic. In September 1939, the town was occupied by the Red Army and, on 14 November 1939, incorporated into the Byelorussian SSR. From 5 July 1941 until 4 July 1944, Dzisna was occupied by Nazi Germany.after which it returned under Soviet control. On June 14, 1942, thousands of Jews in Dzisna were murdered by the Nazi SS and local Belorussian collaborators. After 1944, Dzisna remained part of the Soviet Union until 1991.
Pin made in the Soviet Union, Belarus. The text on the pin reads:”Kobryn”. Kobryn is a city in the Brest Region of Belarus and the center of the Kobryn District. The city is located in the southwestern corner of Belarus, where the Mukhavets River and Dnepr-Bug Canal meet. The city lies about 52 km east of the city of Brest. During the 1939 Invasion of Poland, Kobryn was the battle scene of the Battle of Kobryń between the Polish 60th Infantry Division of Colonel Adam Epler and the German 19th Panzer Corps of General Heinz Guderian. After three days of fighting, the Poles withdrew southwards and the Germans entered the town, which they three days later handed over to the Soviets in accordance with the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. From 23 June 1941 until 20 July 1944, Kobryn was occupied by Nazi Germany. During the latter period, the majority of Jewish inhabitants were first amassed in a ghetto and then murdered by the Nazis in their extermination camps. Two Polish priests, The Reverend Władysław Grobelny and Jan Wolski from Kobryń near Brześć, arrested for helping the Jews, were executed on October 15, 1942 together with a number of Jews from the Brześć ghetto. In 1944, the town was liberated by the Red Army. Since 1991, it is a part of the independent Republic of Belarus.
Pin made in the Soviet Union, Belarus. The text on the pin reads:”Slonim”. Slonim is a city in Grodno Region, Belarus, capital of the Slonimski rajon. It is located at the junction of the Ščara and Isa rivers, 143 km (89 mi) southeast of Hrodna. The population in 2015 was 49,739. In 1939, the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union resulted in the invasion of Poland by the two powers and its division between them. Slonim was in the area designated by the Pact to fall within the Soviet sphere of influence. The Soviets placed that area within the Byelorussian SSR. Two years later, Germany invaded the Soviets (Operation Barbarossa) and Slonim was captured. The Słonim Jews were herded into the Słonim Ghetto set up at the Na Wyspie neighbourhood across the bridge on the Szczara River. Soon thereafter, 70% of Slonim’s Jews had been killed by the Einsatzgruppen, including 9,000 on 14 November 1941. The second mass murder of 8,000 Jews took place in 1942. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Slonim became part of an independent state of Belarus.