Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya: Partisan, Heroine of the Soviet Union

Discussion in 'The Women of WW2' started by Zoya, Mar 15, 2008.

  1. Zoya

    Zoya Partisan

    Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya, who was a Russian female partisan. She joined the partisan movemnet at the age of 17, and carried out acts of sabotage behind enemy lines. She was captured in 1941 in German territory, and tortured in the village of Petrischevo. She gave away no inofrmation, and was executed by hanging. She was left hanging there as a warning to the Russians, her body mutilated by German soldiers.

    Her last words were:
    Here comrades! Why do you look so gloomy? Fight on, fight on!"
    …and to her captors, she levelled a warning:
    "There are two hundred million of us! You can’t hang us all!"

    Months later, her body was taken and buried, and even later it was exhumed and buried in Moscow. On February 16, 1942, Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya was posthumously awarded the title of "Hero of the Soviet Union." She was the first woman to receive this distinction.

    The Motherland, bent over her daughter's ashes,
    Sings this tender maternal song
    About Zoya, the girl, who has become a legend,
    Who died and was born for eternal life.

    The native land inspired her with courage,
    The great nation educated her with pride,
    And the girl has become fine as a white birch,
    Like the Russian heart, she was frank and noble.

    Dimitri Shostakovich
    Song for Zoya (1944)




    Zoya’s brother Alexander Kosmodemyanskay (Shura) also received posthumous recognition as a Hero of the Soviet Union. He was killed in combat near Koenigsberg near the end of World War II.

    I hope this is of interest!


    Some links:
    Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya
    von Poop and Owen like this.
  2. marcus69x

    marcus69x I love WW2 meah!!!

    Thanx for sharing that. Never heard of her before. She was a very brave woman and I love those last words. Although that photo of her in the snow is quite haunting.
  3. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Quite a coincidence, as I was just printing out some pictures of her last night.
    I'd thought the body was taken away the same night after the soldiers mutilated it?
    A brave act by those that did it, whenever it happened.
  4. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I hadn't seen that bottom photo before.
    I'd only read about her a couple of months ago.
    A brave woman indeed.
  5. Zoya

    Zoya Partisan

    Quite a coincidence, as I was just printing out some pictures of her last night.
    I'd thought the body was taken away the same night after the soldiers mutilated it?
    A brave act by those that did it, whenever it happened.

    I found this here Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya

    Zoya was hanged before the villagers that had been forced to witness the spectacle. Her corpse was bayoneted by the Nazis as it hung from the billet. The Germans would not allow the villagers to remove her body for some time after the execution. Instead, they displayed her body as a warning to others who might have considered aiding the partisans. She was buried months later following the beginning of the Soviet counter-offensive.
  6. Jaeger

    Jaeger Senior Member

    The story of Zoya is known to me, and her last words about hanging 200 millions is well known here.

    Too much of this has been lost during the later times when the favoured view has been that of: The Germans should/could have won IF....

    The unbeatable Wehrmacht and their tactics are from time to time brought forth under 'What If' threads, known on another forum...
  7. Korps Steiner

    Korps Steiner Senior Member

    What an incredibly brave young woman , millions of Russian patriots like her were the reason that the Russians defeated the Wehrmacht who totally under estimated the peoples feelings for Mother Russia.


  8. Zoya

    Zoya Partisan

    Below are images of Zoya's hero of the SU Diploma, and pictures of her grave, with memorial statue. The statue is particularly striking, and shows her, bare-breasted, as she is pictured above in death, but running and free!

    A month later Zoya's body was brought to Moscow and buried in the Novodevichy Cemetery. A monument has been placed on her grave, and on its black marble are carved the words of Nikolai Ostrovsky, the words which Zoya once wrote as a motto, as a behest in her notebook, and which she justified by her short life and by her death: "Man's dearest possession is life, and it is given to him to live but once…So he must live that, dying, he can say: all my life, all my strength were given to the finest cause in all the world—the fight for the Liberation of Mankind."

    From The Story of Zoya and Shura written by her Mother, L. Kosmodemyanskaya. This website has a full transcript of the rare book telling her life story.

    Attached Files:

  9. Zoya

    Zoya Partisan

    An oil painting of Zoya by Aleksey Motorin

  10. Zoya

    Zoya Partisan

    Some scanned pages from the book "The Story of Zoya and Shura" about Zoya and her brother, Aleksandr Kosmodemiyanskiy, written by their Mother, Lyubov. Aleksandr was a tank driver who died in in battle near Koenigsberg in 1945.


    Attached Files:

  11. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I keep wanting to reply to this thread with something profound but I can't .
    It just makes me stare at the monitor and ponder.
  12. Zoya

    Zoya Partisan

    It's ok to 'just ponder' I think, Owen.

    Some more images of Zoya, from commemorative postcards:

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  13. D-Day Girl

    D-Day Girl Discharged

    Pretty amazing and brave woman, I'd actually heard of her before, mainly because I'd seen that tragic and famous pictures. They must have done horrible things to her and unlike her cowardly comrade Krainov she never talked.

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