Missak Manouchian, an Armenian communist resistance fighter, will be honored with his entry into the Pantheon of Paris, the famous mausoleum dedicated to the “immortals,” as announced by the French presidency. Manouchian, recognized as a poet and a leading figure in the struggle against the Nazi occupation of France during World War II, will be “pantheonized” on February 21, 2024, coinciding with the 80th anniversary of his death.
The French presidency noted that Manouchian embodies the universal values of liberty, equality, and fraternity and symbolizes the greatness of France. President Emmanuel Macron praised Manouchian’s bravery and serene heroism and, through his inclusion in the Pantheon, paid tribute to all foreign comrades-in-arms, including the Spanish, Italians, and Jews of Central Europe, stressing that the blood shed for France is of equal value to all.
Manouchian, along with his wife Mélinée, also Armenian and a resistance fighter, will be received at the Pantheon, but only he will receive the honor of “pantheonization.” As an Armenian fighter, foreigner, and communist, he will become the first member of the Resistance to be included in the distinguished group of “immortals,” which includes personalities such as Voltaire, Victor Hugo, and Marie Curie.
After fleeing the Armenian genocide, Manouchian arrived in France in 1925 as a stateless person. He joined the Communist Resistance and led a group of foreign fighters in the struggle against the Nazi occupation, carrying out attacks and sabotage against German forces in 1943. However, he was arrested in November of that year and shot by the German army on February 21, 1944, at the age of 37. His sacrifice and his role in the resistance against the Nazi occupation have been recognized and valued, and his entry into the Pantheon is a symbol of honor and recognition of his historical legacy.