Military decoration, Order of the Patriotic War, 2nd Class, awarded by the Soviet Union to Mikhail Zhilin as a Soviet Army veteran of WWII. It is in the shape of a five-pointed star with silver rays and a crossed sword and rifle. The star is filled with red enamel. At the center is an inscription in a circle of white enamel, enclosing a hammer and sickle. On the back is a threaded post. There is no associated ribbon.

Date: March 11, 1985
Attribution: IHMEC: gift of Gesha Levkovich, in memory of Mikhail Zhilin
Accession Number: 2019.34.12a
Donor Bio:

Mikhail Zhilin was born on April 24, 1926, in Minsk, Belarus. Mikhail, his parents, and two sisters, Mara and Kima, were interned in the Minsk Ghetto in October 1941. His mother and two sisters perished there, and the father was later declared Missing in Action (MIA) from the Red Army. In July 1943, Mikhail was sent to Maly Trostinets concentration camp. Soon after he escaped and joined the partisans. In the fall of 1944, he joined the Red Army. He was injured in battle and suffered vision damage and paralysis of his left cheek, as a result, he was discharged in 1947. He was awarded many medals for his service. After the army, he returned to Minsk where he met his wife, Gesha Levkovich. She had spent the war evacuated to the East. Together they had two sons. One of their sons immigrated to Chicago in 1987, and the rest of the family followed in 1990. Mikhail died on February 5, 2016, in Chicago. 

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