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Zoya Anatolyevna Kosmodemyanskaya was born on September 8, 1923 in the village of Osino-Gai (the village in various sources is also referred to as Osinov Gai or Osinovye Gai, which means "aspen grove") of the Gavrilovsky district of the Tambov region, in the family of teachers Anatoly and Lyubov (nee Churikova) Kosmodemyanskikh.|
On October 31, 1941, Zoya, among 2,000 Komsomol volunteers, came to the gathering place in the Colosseum cinema and from there was taken to a sabotage school, becoming a fighter in a reconnaissance and sabotage unit, which officially bore the name of "Partisan Unit 9903 of the Western Front Headquarters." After a short training, Zoya was in the group transferred to the Volokolamsk region, where the group successfully completed the mission (mining the road).
In pursuance of this Order of the Supreme Command No. 428, which ordered to deprive "the German army of the opportunity to settle in villages and cities, to expel the German invaders from all settlements into the cold in the field, to smoke them from all rooms and warm shelters and make them freeze in the open air", with which aiming to "destroy and burn to ashes all settlements in the rear of the German troops at a distance of 40-60 km in depth from the front edge and 20-30 km to the right and left of the roads" received the task to burn 10 settlements within 5-7 days, in among them is the village of Petrishchevo (Vereisky district) (now the Ruzsky district of the Moscow region). Going out on a mission in two groups (10 people in each), they came under fire near the village of Golovkovo (10 km from Petrishchevo), suffered heavy losses and partially dispersed; their remnants united under the command of Boris Krainov.
On November 27, 1941 at 2 am Boris Krainov, Vasily Klubkov and Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya set fire to three houses in Petrishchev (residents of Karelova, Solntsev and Smirnov), while the Germans lost 20 horses. Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya managed to burn down the German communications center, which made it difficult or impossible for some of the German units stationed near Moscow to interact.
With the onset of the evening of November 28, while trying to set fire to the shed of S. A. Sviridov (one of the guards appointed by the Germans), Kosmodemyanskaya was noticed by the owner. The Germans who were called in by the latter seized the girl (at about 7 pm). During interrogation, she introduced herself as Tanya and did not say anything definite. Having stripped naked, they flogged her with belts, then, a sentry attached to her, for 4 hours drove her barefoot, in only underwear, down the street in the cold.
At 10:30 the next morning, Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya was taken out into the street, where the gallows had already been erected, and a plaque was hung on her chest with the inscription “House arsonist”. They brought me to the gallows, commanded to expand the circle around the gallows and began to photograph her ... She had a bag with bottles with her. She shouted: “Citizens! You don’t stand, don’t look, but you need to help fight! This death of mine is my achievement. " After that, one officer swung, and the others shouted at her. Then she said: “Comrades, victory will be ours. German soldiers, before it's too late, surrender. " The German officer yelled angrily. But she continued: "Rus!" “The Soviet Union is invincible and will not be defeated,” she said all this at the moment when she was photographed ... Then they set up the box. She, without any command, stood on the box herself. A German came up and began to put on the noose. At that time she shouted: “No matter how much you hang us, you don’t outweigh everyone, there are 170 million of us. But our comrades will avenge you for me. " She said this already with a noose around her neck. She wanted to say something else, but at that moment the box was removed from under her feet, and she hung.
The body of Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya hung on the gallows for about a month, being repeatedly abused by German soldiers passing through the village. On New Year's 1942, drunken Germans tore off the hanging clothes and once again abused the body, stabbing it with knives and cutting off the chest. The next day, the Germans gave orders to remove the gallows, and the body was buried by local residents outside the village.