It is Victory Day in Russia (my homeland), and I thought I would post a tribute especially since today marks 75 years since the defeat of Nazi Germany and the end of the World War II in Europe. My grandparents lived through the WWII (for example, my grandfather on my mother’s side was a paratrooper (a military parachutist) and was involved in many WWII operations and my grandmother on my mother’s side worked in trenches). Some heroic actions are less evident than others and some heroes remain either unknown or forgotten. I have always found it touching when children or young teenagers distinguished themselves as heroes of war. Although there were many such examples, below, I would like to briefly talk about Zinaida Portnova.
Zinaida Portnova [20 February 1926 – 15 January 1944]
Zinaida was an active member of the anti-fascist youth organisation of Obol, a town now in Belarus. From 1942 (at the age of fifteen), she was a Committee member of the Obol undercover organisation “Young Avengers”. When she worked in one Nazi canteen, she poisoned soup meant for Nazi Officers which led to the deaths of many Nazis (over one hundred), and to prove that she did not, she ate the soup herself and miraculously survived. She then worked on many undercover operations that involved the undercover bombing of Nazi vehicles and distinguished herself in many other ways. When she was captured and interrogated by the Gestapo, the source says she snatched a pistol from the interrogation table and then killed three Nazi interrogators who meant to torture her for information. She escaped that room, but was then recaptured, tortured and shot (source I and source II). For her courage and heroism in fighting the fascists, she was posthumously awarded the title of the Hero of the Soviet Union.
I am concluding this post with this arrangement by Patrik Pietschmann of the Schindler’s List (1993) soundtrack composed by John Williams.