Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Russia's Heroine Kosmodemyanskaya

On September 13, during the celebration of 87th anniversary since her birth a proposal was made that Russian Orthodox Church should canonize Zoya. In the absence of any evidence that Kosmodemyanskaya chose death rather than renouncing her faith or even that she was a believing Christian, the Russian Orthodox Church has not yet taken any action on this proposal

In Petrischevo Zoya managed to set fire to horsestables and a couple of houses. However, one Russian collaborationist had noticed her and informed his masters. They rewarded his service with a bottle of vodka. The Germans caught Zoya as she started to torch another house. She was tortured and interrogated throughout the night but refused to give up any information. The following morning she was marched to the center of the town with a board around her neck bearing the inscription 'Houseburner' and hanged.

Her final words were purported to be "Comrades! Why are you so gloomy? I am not afraid to die! I am happy to die for my people!" and to the Germans, "You'll hang me now, but I am not alone. There are two hundred million of us. You can't hang us all."

The Germans left Zoya's body hanging on the gallows for several weeks and mutilated her body several times with bayonets and by cutting off her left breast. Eventually she was buried just before the Soviet liberation in January 1942.

The story of Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya became popular after a Pravda article which was written by Pyotr Lidov, was published on January 27, 1942. The journalist had heard about Zoya's execution from an elderly peasant, and was impressed by the young woman's courage. The witness recounted: "They were hanging her and she was giving a speech. They were hanging her and she was threatening them." Lidov travelled to Petrishchevo, details were collected from local residents and published in an article about the then-unknown partisan girl. Soon after, the article was noticed by Stalib who proclaimed: "Here is the people's heroine", which started a propaganda campaugn honouring Kosmodemyanskaya. In February, she was identified and was immediately awarded the order of Hero of the Soviet Union.

1 comment:

黃惠雯 said...