Leather Soviet Belt

In Attire

This belt belonged to my great-grandfather, Solomon, after whom my Jewish name originates. Solomon managed support of militias in German-occupied territories such as Belarus during World War II. Moscow had been evacuated, and my grandfather’s family (sister, mother, and him) lived in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Because of lack of food in Tashkent, my grandfather would sometimes live in Moscow, on a military base. When I was a child, my he would tell me stories of his childhood during WWII, such as when he was in the machine gunner’s seat on a plane, and saw a Nazi plane, with a Swastika on its side, appear. After a few moments, the plane changed course, but it could have easily shot down the plane my grandfather was in. Another story was of Solomon, who was flying in an airplane along with other officers. A Nazi plane shot a missile at the plane, but instead of blowing up on impact, the missile went through the plane, and they had to made an emergency landing. Unfortunately, the missile had gone through the person sitting next to my great- grandfather—one of Stalin’s closest generals.The belt has been in California, Texas, Illinois, New Jersey,and presently, our New York City apartment, where it lives in my room.It has the ominous hammer and sickle on a star, on its metal buckle, which I would imagine looked very impressive.My grandfather told me that in the Russian army—which was notoriously brutal—this type of belt was often used in fights for its heavy buckle.

Year: 1991

– Sam Lazarev

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant