Aaron Berend, a Jewish artisan from Bialystok, is the first Polish Jew to receive a Soviet decoration. He was awarded a medal by the Russian Government “for excellent work in a munition factory in the province of Saratov,” the local press reported today.
Evacuated from Bialystock shortly before the Nazi occupation of the city, Berend was among a group of Jews who were moved to the Saratov district, on the Volga river, where a Jewish collective farm took in some of the evacuees, while others were placed in factories producing war materials. Berend soon gained the reputation of being “the best turner” in the munition plant where he worked. He received the medal in recognition of the fact that he produced five times more than his quota.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.