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     Home > SOVIET PAPER, PROPAGANDA and ART > WWII Citations

    Marshal of the Soviet Union Georgy Zhukov, printed document signed on 26 May 1948 while Commander of the Ural Military District.

    Marshal of the Soviet Union Georgy Zhukov, printed document signed on 26 May 1948 while Commander of the Ural Military District.

    The document is a single-page honorary certificate issued to A.L. Sterlin, a female piano player, for entertaining troops of the Military District over a three-month period in 1948 which coincided with the celebrations of the 30th anniversary of the Soviet Army. Measures 10 " x 15", an unusually large format for the document of this type. The certificate features portraits of Stalin and Lenin and very attractive artwork which includes theater stage curtains, drama masks and lire. There is a military motto "For Our Soviet Motherland!" in the upper right. The bottom margin shows information about the printing house in Sverdlovsk and mentions that 250 copies of this particular design were printed in total. There is a blue ink stamp of the Commander of the Troops of the Ural Military District and a typed date "26 May" next to the printed year of 1948. Zhukov's signature is in blue fountain pen, to the right of the stamp and his printed position and rank: "Commander of the Troops of the Ural Military District, Marshal of the Soviet Union".

    The document is in very good condition. There is wear and minor tears at the edges, none of which significantly affect the artwork. Minor water stains near the top, barely noticeable on the front but visible on verso. There are also three small repairs with paper tape visible on the verso in the same area near the top. There are no missing parts; the document is overall intact, completely sound, and will display beautifully - especially when properly framed. Zhukov's signature is nice and bold, completely unaffected by wear.

    Zhukov is perhaps the most famous Soviet military leader of all time. His successes in WW2 as First Deputy to Stalin and conqueror of Berlin achieved him a legendary status, admittedly amplified by Soviet propaganda. Among his Soviet decorations were the Title of Hero of the Soviet Union and Gold Star Medal (bestowed four times), Order of Lenin (six times), Order of Victory (twice), Order of the Red Banner (three times), Order of the October Revolution, and Order of Suvorov 1st Class (twice).

    The document dates to the period of Zhukov's virtual "internal exile" after WW2 when Stalin sought to ensure that victorious Soviet generals would never pose a threat to his hold on power. Zhukov's immense popularity was probably what saved him from being arrested or killed outright. Instead, he was sent first to command a backwater Odessa Military District and then reassigned to take charge of a remote Ural Military District. He returned from political obscurity only after the death of Stalin, when he was instrumental first in removing Beria and then installing Khrushchev as the new Soviet leader.

    We must add that over his long career in the Soviet military, Zhukov signed a large number of documents. Not surprisingly, his autographs, although highly sought, appear on the market with some regularity. The honorary certificate we are offering here however is far less common than the typical service paperwork he routinely signed.

    Item# 34104


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