Add comment January 15th, 2015 Headsman
On this date in 1944, Soviet partisan Zinaida Portnova was executed by the Germans occupying Belarus.
The youngest-ever female Hero of the Soviet Union (she was posthumously decorated in 1958), the Leningrad-born Portnova had a rude start in insurgency when the German blitz swept past her summer camp in Belarus and trapped her behind lines.
Said to have been radicalized when occupying soldiers struck her grandmother, the girl joined the youth arm of the local resistance, dubbed the “Young Avengers”.
From surveilling enemy troop deployments and assembling weapons caches, Zinaida Portnova graduated to sabotage and ambushes … and capture. Even then she pulled off an action hero escape by snatching a gun and shooting her way out of custody, only to be re-arrested shortly thereafter.
She was shot a month shy of her 18th birthday.
A large number of Pioneer youth groups were subsequently dedicated to Zinaida Portnova, as was a museum of the Komsomol underground and a public monument in Minsk. She remains to this day an honored martyr of the Great Patriotic War.
On this day..
- 1648: Francis Ferdinand de Capillas, protomartyr of China - 2017
- 1784: Cassumo Garcelli, a Tuscan sailor on Boston Common - 2016
- 1973: Lim Seng, under Philippines martial law - 2014
- 69: Galba, in the Year of the Four Emperors - 2013
- 1999: Recak Massacre - 2012
- 2000: Kasongo, child soldier - 2011
- 2009: A day in the death penalty around the world - 2010
- 1895: Charles Stokes, in the heart of darkness - 2009
- 1943: Sue Logue, George Logue and Clarence Bagwell - 2008
- Themed Set: The Spectacle of Private Execution in America - 2008
Entry Filed under: 20th Century,Belarus,Capital Punishment,Children,Death Penalty,Execution,Germany,Guerrillas,History,Martyrs,No Formal Charge,Occupation and Colonialism,Russia,Shot,Soldiers,Spies,Terrorists,Torture,USSR,Wartime Executions,Women