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Thil mulls building monument to Soviet female members of French Resistance

Society 10.09.2019 | 15:25

MINSK, 10 September (BelTA) – A monument to the partisan unit Rodina (Motherland) that consisted of the Soviet young women might be erected in Thil, BelTA has learned from the Belarusian Embassy in Paris.

Belarusian Ambassador to France Igor Fisenko visited Thil on 9 September to attend the events to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the city's liberation from Nazis. Rodina, the only women's unit of the French Resistance, played a significant role in the liberation. Thirty-seven Soviet women from Belarus, Russia and Ukraine who operated underground on the Nazi-occupied territories became prisoners of the Errouville concentration camp in 1944. They were working in the mines of Thil for several months until 63 prisoners, 37 of whom were women, managed to escape on 8 May 1944. They joined the Resistance unit based in the Argonne forest. The women organized their own partisan unit called Rodina. Throughout the history of the French Resistance Rodina was the only women's unit.

Igor Fisenko participated in the solemn event. He placed flowers at the crypt in memory of the victims of the concentration camp in Thil and at the entrance to the mines where many prisoners had died during the rockfall. He highlighted the heroism of the young women, focusing in particular on the two Belarusians, Nadezhda Lisovets and Rosalia Fridson, who led the partisan unit Rodina. Their contribution has been recognized by the French as well. After the liberation of the Lorraine these two women were given the rank of a lieutenant of the French Army.

The head of Belarusian diplomatic mission noted that the hard-won victory belongs to everybody. More than 120 Belarusians were members of the French Resistance while more than 50 French people were a part of the Belarusian partisan movement. Igor Fisenko believes that the main priority right now is to preserve the memory of this heroic deed and do our best for the unification of countries and people.

The ambassador met with Senator from Meurthe-et-Moselle Olivier Jacquin, and Thil Mayor Annie Silvestri. They discussed the draft project to build a Belarusian-Russian-French monument to honor the Rodina partisan unit. Minsk sculptor Ella Grishechkina is a Belarusian representative in this project.

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