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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Daily LIFT #537

Soviet stamp in honour of Fyodor Poletaev, a partisan hero of both Italy and the USSR, 1963 -- Daily LIFT #537

Poletaev's story is remarkable. In the summer of 1942 his unit was encircled by the invading Germans while defending the USSR. He was captured and sent to brutal POW camps in Poland, Yugoslavia and finally Italy. In Italy in 1944 he escaped and joined the anti-fascist Italian partisans fighting with exceptional bravery. He was killed in action just three months before the end of the war.

He was posthumously named as a hero of both Italy and the USSR.

From a Soviet press release about the stamp:

А new issue, in memory of Fyodor Poletaev, who fought with the Italian people against fascism, has an interesting origin . The Fyodor Poletaev Young Pioneer group at Leningrad Boarding School No. 51 wrote to Minister of Communications Nikolai Psurtsev asking that a commemorative be issued for this national hero of Italy and Hero of the Soviet Union.
And it was.
The varicolored four-kopeck stamp bears a gray - and -gold portrait of the Soviet soldier. In the left-hand corner are shown his posthumous awards: the State Gold Medal of Italy --the guerrilla Order of Garibaldi star -- and the star of Hero of the Soviet Union.
Pictured on the right is an episode of the war against the background of an Italian landscape: guerrillas are throwing grenades from a shelter, a fascist plane is on fire. The inscription under the drawing reads :
"Hero of the Soviet Union, National Hero of Italy" and below that "F. A. Poletaev” in Russian and Italian .


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