French-Armenian Resistance hero Missak Manouchian to enter France’s Panthéon

(Armradio) – Missak Manouchian, an Armenian genocide survivor who went on to become a French Resistance hero, will enter France’s Panthéon mausoleum of revered historical figures next year, President Emmanuel Macron announced in a statement Sunday, France24 reports.

“Manouchian carries a part of our greatness”, Macron said in the statement issued by the Élysée Palace, adding the French-Armenian poet and communist embodied France’s “universal values” of liberty, equality and fraternity.

Macron said Manouchian will be inducted into the Panthéon – which already honours eight other French Resistance heroes, including Jean Moulin – on February 21, 2024.

According to the wishes of his family, his wife Mélinée will join him in the mausoleum, although she will not receive the “pantheonisation” of her husband – the rare tribute reserved only for those who have played an important role in French history, such as Victor Hugo, Voltaire and Marie Curie.

Manouchian arrived in France in 1925 as a stateless refugee after fleeing the Armenian genocide with his brother, and joined the country’s communist Resistance movement in 1943 during World War II. He led a small group of fighters that carried out a string of successsful attacks against the occupying Nazi forces.

In 1944, the group, which included a number of Jews, was put out of action when 23 of its members were rounded up and sentenced to death by a German military court.

Manouchian was shot by a Nazi firing squad on February 21, 1944.

By entering the Panthéon, Manouchian will become both the first foreign and communist Resistance fighter to be awarded the honour.

In his tribute, Macron also pointed to the “bravery” and “quiet heroism” of Manouchian and other foreign Resistance fighters.

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