Belarus matchbox label with the image of Brest Fortress. The text on the label reads:”Brest Fortress” and at the bottom:”Ruins Of Terespol Gate”.
The fortress is located in Brest, Belarus. The fortress is a 19th. century Russian fortress. In 1965, the title Hero Fortress was given to the Fortress to commemorate the defence of the frontier stronghold during the first week of the German Soviet War, when Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union.
On June 22, 1941 the German Wehrmacht attacked the Brest fortress with no warning. The attack started with an artillery barrage. The defenders were taken by surprise and initially failed to form a solid front. By 09:00 that day, the fortress was completely surrounded. The ensuing battle of Brest Fortress lasted for 32 days, during which lives lost about 2000 soldiers and officers defending the castle, and attackers losing nearly 430 soldiers and officers.
The last defended object in the fortress was taken by June 29. About 6,800 Soviet soldiers and commanders were captured. According to Soviet sources, the battle lasted until 20 July, with no one surrendering to the Germans. This narrative became a testament to the resilience and courage of Red Army and Soviet people. A few Soviet soldiers did indeed hold out inside pockets of the fortress until as late as 23 July.
In the late 1960s, the construction of the war memorial complex “Brest Hero Fortress” was started. The complex was opened on September 25, 1971. The memorial complex is a national place of grief and pride, a popular tourist attraction.
This site was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List on January 30, 2004.