ArmInfo.Many of us hope that Missak Manouchian's ashes will be transferred to the Pantheon. Former French Ambassador to Armenia Jonathan Lacote wrote about this on his Facebook page.
Lacote recalled that a survivor of the Armenian Genocide, a refugee, a member of the French Resistance Movement (the international "Communist Partisan Fighting Detachment of Immigrant Workers") was shot together with his 22 comrades on February 21, 1944 at Fort Mont Valerien near Paris.
"Thus, through Missak Manouchian, a tribute will be paid to all foreigners, including those like him without citizenship, who joined the ranks of the French Resistance and gave their lives for France," the former French ambassador to Armenia wrote.
The diplomat also recalled that in 2015, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and the victory over Nazism, by the decision of then French President Francois Hollande, the ashes of four heroes of the French Resistance were transferred to the Pantheon. Since then, the names of Jean Moulin, Germaine Tillion, Genevieve de Gaulle-Anthonioz and Josephine Baker have been added to the list of 70 names on the walls of the main tomb of the Republic. Like other presidents of the Fifth Republic (with the exception of Georges Pompidou and Valerie Giscard d'Estaing), Francois Hollande decided to use the prerogative of the head of state - to choose historical figures to perpetuate their memory in the Pantheon.
Missak Manouchian was born in 1906 in the city of Adiyaman. During the 1915 Genocide, his father was killed, his mother died of hunger. Misak and his brother moved to Syria on foot, where they ended up in an orphanage. In 1925 he moved to France, where he became interested in communist ideas. In 1934 he joined the French Communist Party. From the first days of the war, he joined the struggle against fascism, organizing, together with a French doctor, an underground organization. He was arrested, escaped from the camp, joined the "Stalingrad" detachment. In August 1943, he assembled the international "Communist Partisan Fighting Detachment of Immigrant Workers", which entered the French Resistance movement. The group of 50 included Spaniards, Poles, Italians, Hungarians, Jews and two Armenians. Among his associates was his wife Meline, who coordinated the communication between the underground branches of the Communist Party. The detachment carried out about thirty actions against the German invaders.
In November 1943, the police arrested 23 members of the anti-fascist resistance and its leader. After three months of torture, on February 21, 1944, they were shot at Fort Mont Valerien near Paris. The shooting of the patriots angered the French. In France, Manouchian and his comrades have become symbols of the struggle for freedom. In 1946, at the initiative of Charles de Gaulle, the Fighting France Memorial was opened at Fort Mont-Valerien. Missak Manouchian was posthumously awarded the Order of the Legion of Honor. Streets and squares in Paris, Valence, Marseille, Yerevan are named after him.