Zoia Kosmodemianskaia

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kosmodem’ianskaia, Zoia Anatol’evna


(Tania). Born Sept. 13, 1923, in the village of Osinovye Gai, Tambov Oblast; died Nov. 29, 1941, in the village of Petrishchevo, Vereia Raion, Moscow Oblast. Soviet partisan; heroine in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-45. Daughter of an office employee.

Kosmodem’ianskaia joined the Komsomol in 1938 and studied at the 201st Secondary School in Moscow. In October 1941, as a tenth-grade pupil, she volunteered to join a partisan detachment. Kosmodem’ianskaia, with a group of partisans who were members of the Komsomol, crossed the front lines at the village of Obukhovo, near Naro-Fominsk, and entered territory held by the German invaders. She was captured by the fascists at the end of November 1941 in the village of Petrishchevo, while fulfilling a combat mission. Despite the frightful tortures and taunting by her executioners, she did not betray her comrades and did not reveal her real name, calling herself Tania. She was executed on Nov. 29, 1941.

Kosmodem’ianskaia was posthumously awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union on Feb. 16, 1942. Her loyalty to the socialist homeland and her devotion to the cause of Communism made the name of this daughter of the Lenin Komsomol legendary. Many works of Soviet poets, writers, dramatists, artists, and sculptors have been devoted to Kosmodem’ianskaia. Streets in many cities of the USSR have been named after her. A monument to Kosmodem’ianskaia (by the sculptors O. A. Ikonnikov and V. A. Fedorov) has been erected on the Minsk highway, near the village of Petrishchevo. Kosmodem’ianskaia’s grave has been located in Novodevichii Cemetery since 1942. A memorial slab has been placed at the site of her original burial in the village of Petrishchevo.


Narodnaia geroinia. Moscow, 1943. (Collection of materials on Zoia Kosmodem’ianskaia.)
Kosmodem’ianskaia, L. T. Povest’ o Zoe i Shure. Moscow, 1966.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.