Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya is the first woman for whose feat she was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union during the Second World War. What she managed to do, it is impossible to describe briefly, understand to contemporaries and admit that a simple girl is able to endure such a thing. Experts believe that Zoya's feat played an important role, as an example of courage, in approaching the victory of the Soviet people in the bloodiest war.
The summary of the feat of Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya, which was given in history textbooks to Soviet schoolchildren, for several decades was for them the best lesson in patriotism and love for the motherland, courage, an example to follow. And for modern boys and girls, this woman, or rather a girl, is an example of heroism. Until now, the feat of Zoe is discussed, new facts and evidence appear, disputes and even speculation arise around him. Who was Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya?
Biography of Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya
Zoya was a simple girl from the Tambov village of Osiny Gai. She was born into a family of school teachers on September 13, 1923. The family lived near Tambov until 1929, and then had to flee to Siberia, fearing denunciations and arrest. The fact is that Zoya's grandfather was accused of anti-Soviet activities and executed for it. But the Kosmodemyanskys lived in Siberia for only a year, then moved to the outskirts of Moscow.
Zoya lived a short life, and her significant milestones were a meager number of events, not all of which can be called happy:
- excellent performance at school, but lack of understanding with classmates,
- meningitis, meeting Arkady Gaidar in a sanatorium during treatment,
- studying at a sabotage school and sending Zoe's group to the rear of the Nazis,
- successful completion of several tasks, captivity and execution.
The difficult life of Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya, hardships and difficulties did not take away her patriotism and love for the Fatherland. The girl firmly believed in socialism and victory in the War, steadfastly endured all the hardships of captivity and accepted death with dignity - this is a fact that skeptics and pro-Soviet leaders cannot dispute.
Prehistory of the feat of Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya
In November 1941, when the Nazis were rapidly advancing, and their troops were already on the outskirts of the capital of the USSR, Stalin and the military commanders decided to use the so-called "Scythian" tactics in the fight against the enemy. Its essence consisted in the complete destruction of settlements and strategic objects on the way of the offensive of the enemy forces. This task was to be performed by sabotage groups, which were specially trained for this in specialized schools, at accelerated courses. One of these groups included Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya.
In accordance with Stalin's order No. 0428, the group was to commit sabotage and destroy more than 10 villages in the Moscow region with Molotov cocktails:
- Anashkino and Petrishchevo,
- Gribtsovo and Usadkovo,
- Ilyatino and Pushkino,
- Grachevo and Mikhailovskoe,
- Korovino, Bugailovo and others.
The saboteurs went on a mission on November 21, 1941 as part of two groups. Near the village of Golovkovo, they were ambushed, as a result of which only one group remained, which continued to carry out such a cruel, but necessary task in those realities.
Summary of the feat of Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya
After the losses incurred as a result of the shelling of groups near the village of Golovkovo, the task became more complicated, and the saboteurs, including Zoya, had to gather all their forces to complete the assignment of Stalin himself. Kosmodemyanskaya was supposed to burn the village of Petrishchevo near Moscow, which is a transport interchange for fascist movements. The girl and her colleague, the fighter Klubkov Vasily, partially coped with the task, destroying 20 horses of the German army along the way.In addition, Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya managed to disable the communication of the Germans, which helped to exclude contact between several German units in the Moscow region and to reduce their offensive activity, albeit for a short time.
The head of the group of saboteurs who survived the ambush, Krainov did not wait for Kosmodemyanskaya and Klubkov, and returned to the rear. Realizing this, Zoya decided to continue working behind enemy lines on her own, returned to Petrishchevo to start arson again. One of the villagers, who at that time was already serving the Germans, by the name of Sviridov, grabbed the girl and handed her over to the Nazis.
Capture and execution of Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya
Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya was captured by the Nazis on November 28, 1941. The following facts about her stay in captivity and the torment that the young Komsomol member had to endure are known for certain:
- regular beatings, including by two local women,
- whipping with belts over the naked body during interrogation,
- running through the streets of Petrishchev without clothes, in the bitter frost.
Despite all the horrors of torment, Zoya Anatolyevna Kosmodemyanskaya not only did not disclose any information about her groups, assignments, but did not even give her real name. She introduced herself as Tanya, and did not provide any other information about herself and her accomplices, even under torture. Such resilience amazed not only local residents, who became involuntary witnesses of her torment, but also the torturers themselves, fascist punishers and investigators.
Many years after the feat of Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya, her capture and execution, it became known that the inhabitants of the village, who then served for the Germans, whose houses she burned - the wives of the elder Smirnov and the punisher Solin, took part in the torture. They were convicted and sentenced to death by the Soviet authorities.
The Nazis turned the execution of Zoe herself into a whole demonstration performance for local residents who did not show them due respect. The girl was led through the streets with a "arsonist" sign on her chest, and a photo was taken with Zoya standing on the scaffold with a noose around her neck. But even in the face of death, she urged to fight against fascism and not be afraid of the invaders. The girl's body was not allowed to be removed from the gallows for a whole month, and only on the eve of the New Year did the local residents manage to bury Zoya.
Posthumous recognition of the feat of Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya and new facts
After the liberation of the village of Petrishchevo from the Nazis, a special commission arrived there, which identified the body and questioned witnesses to the events. The data was provided to Stalin himself, and after studying them, he decided to award Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya the title of Hero of the Soviet Union posthumously. In addition, they were given a directive to publish material about the feat in the media, so that the whole country would know about the heroism of a simple Komsomol member.
Already modern historians have provided allegedly true facts that the girl was betrayed to the fascists either by her partner, or by the group commander, and her heroism and stamina are just fiction. These data are not confirmed by anything, as, incidentally, they are not refuted. Despite attempts to denigrate socialism and everything connected with it, the feat of Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya to this day serves as an example of patriotism and heroism for Russians.