Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya : biography
Zoya Anatolyevna Kosmodemyanskaya (alternatively Romanised as Kosmodem'yanskaya; ; September 13, 1923 – November 29, 1941) was a Soviet partisan,Pravda.ru , a photo report and a Hero of the Soviet Union (awarded posthumously).Kazimiera J. Cottam: Women in War and Resistance: Selected Biographies of Soviet Women Soldiers, ISBN 0-9682702-2-0, page 297 She was one of the most revered heroines of the Soviet Union.The Voice of Russia: Road to Victory:
Life and death
Zoya's favorite subject in school was literature. Her teachers noted her essays for deep understanding of the subject and for imagery. She read far beyond the curriculum. The list of authors she read included Leo Tolstoy, Pushkin, Mikhail Lermontov, Karamzin, Vasily Zhukovsky, Byron, Molière, Miguel Cervantes, Charles Dickens, Wolfgang Goethe, and William Shakespeare. Zoya kept a notebook where she recorded her thoughts about the books she read. Such as: "In Shakespeare's tragedies the death of a hero is always accompanied by a triumph of a high moral cause." She liked Beethoven's Egmont and often sang Klärchen's song "Die Trommel gerühret." Her favorite music was Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5. Her striving for high ideals led to misunderstandings with her classmates. On the eve of 1939 the girls wrote each other notes with New Year wishes. Zoya received the following note "Zoya, don't judge people so strict. Don't take everything so close to heart. Know that most people are egoist, flatterers, are insincere and you can't depend on them. You should leave their words without attention. Such is my New Year wish." After reading the note Zoya said "If one thinks of people like that, then what has one to live for?"
Kosmodemyanskaya joined the Komsomol in 1938. In October 1941, still a high school student in Moscow, she volunteered for a partisan unit. To her mother, who tried to dissuade her, she answered "What can I do when the enemy is so close? If they came here I would not be able to continue living." Zoya was assigned to the partisan unit 9903 (Staff of the Western Front). Of the one thousand people who joined the unit in October 1941 only half survived the war. At the village of Obukhovo near Naro-Fominsk, Kosmodemyanskaya and other partisans crossed the front line and entered territory occupied by the Germans. They mined roads and cut communication lines. On November 27, 1941 Zoya received an assignment to burn the village of Petrischevo, where a German cavalry regiment was stationed.
In Petrischevo, Zoya managed to set fire to horse stables and a couple of houses. However, one Russian collaborationist had noticed her and informed his masters. 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. Eventually she was buried just before the Soviets regained that territory in January 1942.
On September 13, 2008, during the celebration of the 85th anniversary since her birth, a proposal was made that the Russian Orthodox Church should canonize Zoya.Kp.ru (in Russian) 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..
The biography of Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya became a subject of media controversy during the 1990s.
In September 1991, almost fifty years after Zoya's death, an article by Aleksandr Zhovtis was published in the weekly Russian magazine Argumenty i Fakty.Alexander Zhovtis Corrections to the canonical versions, Argumenty i Fakty, N39, 1991 Mass-media in internet. April 5, 2005 The article alleged that there were no German troops in the village of Petrischevo, and that Zoya was caught by local peasants who were unhappy about the destruction of their property. The information was sourced to an anonymous school teacher who had apparently told Nikolai Anov the story. Anov, already dead, apparently passed it on to Zhovtis. At the end of the article, Zhovtis blamed Stalin's scorched earth policy for the 'unnecessary' death of the young woman.
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