February 23rd, 2010 Headsman
On this date in 1942, Estonian linguist and ethnographer Boris Vilde was shot with his French Resistance circle at Fort Mont-Valerien.
St. Petersburg-born, Estonian-raised, the young scientist came to Paris at age 25 (French link) with his life in a backpack.
In the eight short years remaining to him before he gave his life for his adopted land’s anti-Nazi resistance, Vilde cofounded the Paris Musee de l’Homme. (When visiting, be sure to look for the skull of Suleiman al-Halabi, a Syrian executed for assassinating one of Napoleon’s Egyptian officers in 1800.)
It says here that Vilde even imported the French word “resistance” into Estonian.
Boris knew whereof he spoke.
His Musee de l’Homme group recruited scientists and intellectuals and published anti-fascist propaganda.
When the Vichy government infiltrated it and had its principals condemned, one of Vilde’s compatriots is said to have bellowed at the firing squad at the last moment,
Imbeciles, it’s for you, too that I die.
On this day..
- 1807: John Holloway and Owen Haggerty, sworn away - 2017
- 1554: Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk - 2016
- 1513: Pietro Boscoli and Agostino Capponi, but not Niccolo Machiavelli - 2015
- 1828: Antoine Berthet, Stendhal inspiration - 2014
- 1939: Alexander Kosarev, Spartak Moscow patron - 2013
- 1906: Johann Otto Hoch, bluebeard - 2012
- 1629: John Dean, boy arsonist - 2011
- 1885: Not John "Babbacombe" Lee, the man they could not hang - 2009
- 1838: Andrea Rondola but not Peppino - 2008
Entry Filed under: 20th Century,Capital Punishment,Death Penalty,Execution,France,Germany,History,Intellectuals,Martyrs,Mass Executions,Occupation and Colonialism,Power,Revolutionaries,Shot,Treason,Wartime Executions