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 Zoya Anatolyevna Kosmodemyanskaya

Zoya Anatolyevna Kosmodemyanskaya

Birth
Tambov Oblast, Russia
Death 29 Nov 1941 (aged 18)
Moscow Oblast, Russia
Burial Moscow, Moscow Federal City, Russia
Memorial ID 21426 · View Source
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Soviet World War II Hero. A young partisan fighter, her execution by the Nazis came to symbolize Russia's defiance against Hitler's war machine. Zoya was born near Tambov, Russia, and joined the Moscow Komsomol (Communist Youth Organization) at age 15. In October 1941, four months after the Germans invaded her homeland, she quit high school and volunteered for a partisan group. Operating under the name "Tanya", she was assigned to commit acts of sabotage in enemy-occupied territory. On November 26, Zoya and two others infiltrated the Moscow-region village of Petrischevo and set fire to several buildings housing German troops and materiel; one of the partisans, Vasily Klubkov, was captured and betrayed Zoya under interrogation. She was arrested the following day. Despite torture, Zoya refused to divulge information or even her real name, and she was publicly hanged on November 29. Photographs of the execution show her meeting death calmly, and as the noose was placed around her neck she allegedly shouted, "You can't hang all 200 million of us!" Her battered body was left in the snow as a warning to others and was not buried until February 1942, when the Red Army recaptured Petrischevo. Just 18 when she died, Zoya became a powerful propaganda figure for the Soviet government and the story of her fate was circulated throughout the world. She was the first woman to be named a Hero of the Soviet Union and was reinterred with honors at Moscow's Novodevichy Cemetery. Russian soldiers told they were facing "Zoya's murderers" fought with particular ferocity and took no prisoners, and she was glorified in the film "Zoya" (1944), with music by Dimitri Shostakovich. A museum in Moscow was dedicated to her in 1956. After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, revisionists questioned Zoya's wartime activities and the reasons she was singled out from the many partisans who gave their lives for their country, but her enduring status as a popular hero continues to overpower the skeptics. There are still monuments to her throughout the Russian Federation.

Bio by: Bobb Edwards


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 15 Apr 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 21426
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Zoya Anatolyevna Kosmodemyanskaya (13 Sep 1923–29 Nov 1941), Find A Grave Memorial no. 21426, citing Novodevichy Cemetery, Moscow, Moscow Federal City, Russia ; Maintained by Find A Grave .