Belt attachment with a set of 3 brown leather K98k ammunition pouches used during WWII in eastern Poland

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Triple leather ammunition pouch for the Mauser K98k (Karabiner Kurz) rifle acquired ca. 2005 by Yahad-In Unum while excavating mass execution and grave sites in Ukraine uncovered by their research into atrocities committed by Nazi Germany against the Jewish population during WWII. It was the standard issue rifle ammunition pouch for the German Army during World War II. Each pouch holds thirty rounds of ammunition and would be looped through a soldier's belt. In September 1939, following Germany's invasion of Poland, areas of eastern Poland, now in Ukraine, were occupied by the Soviet Union pursuant to the terms of the German-Soviet Pact. In late June 1941, Germany launched Operation Barbarossa, a surprise attack on Russia. The military assault was coordinated with killing squads whose goal was the Final Solution, the elimination of all Jews from the conquered territories. With the assistance of trained collaborators and the local populace, the goal was achieved through deportations to killing centers and mass executions throughout the region. The lack of adequate rail transport meant that many villages had killing fields where the Jews were shot and buried in huge ditches, along with the bullets and other evidence. Through interviews with the remaining eyewitnesses, Yahad-In Unum locates and documents these remains of a Holocaust by bullets and offers respectful remembrance for the fallen.

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  • Title: Belt attachment with a set of 3 brown leather K98k ammunition pouches used during WWII in eastern Poland
  • Location: Ukraine--History--German occupation, 1941-1944.
  • Provenance: The cartridge belt was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2010 by Yahad-in-Unum.
  • Subject Keywords: Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Ukraine. Genocide--Ukraine. Jews--Persecutions--Ukraine. Mass murder--Ukraine. World War, 1939-1945--Atrocities--Ukraine.
  • Type: Containers
  • Rights: Permanent Collection
  • External Link: See the full record at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • Medium: Wide, brown pebbled leather belt attachment with 3 ammunition pouches, each with a rectangular base and cap lid with a sewn-on strap that latches over a metal stud on the underside. On the interior middle pouch lid are letter acronyms and numbers; riveted on the reverse is a rectangular leather placket with a metal D ring inserted through a top loop, an illegible maker code, and the date 1938. Riveted on the reverse of the other 2 pouches is a strap that latches over the bottom stud and passes underneath a horizontal strap riveted near the bottom.


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