Military Review

Twice underground worker, thrice prisoner. Life and Death of Faith Horuzhey

In honor of this woman, killed by the 75 fascists years ago, Belarusian scientists named the lilac variety Vera Khoruzhaya. And to the lot of the heroine, who did not live to 40 years, a huge number of tests fell. I can not even believe that so much everything could accommodate a single short earthly life.

Vera Zakharovna was born 14 (27) September 1903, in the town of Bobruisk, Minsk Province. Her real surname is Khorunzhaya, but then, due to an error in the documents, she became Khoruzhey and it was under this surname that she entered history. The girl first studied in the gymnasium of Bobruisk, and then, when the family moved to Mazyr, she continued her studies in this city.

In the 1919 year, after studying, for some time she pobatrachila on kulaks, worked as a rural teacher, but soon she was captured by the romance of the Civil War. Already in 16 years, Vera fought as a volunteer in the Red Army. In 1920, she joined the Komsomol, and the following year - in the CPSU (b).

After the Civil War, Vera devotes her life to Komsomol and party work, combining it with literary work. He writes poems, articles, appeals. She worked as an editor of the newspaper "Young Plowman". She married Stanislav Skulsky. But a simple family life was not for her. The girl was eager to participate in the struggle for the liberation of Western Belarus (which was under Polish occupation as a result of the Soviet-Polish war of 1920 – 1921).

In 1924, Vera went there to organize the activities of an underground Komsomol organization. Thanks to her abilities, she managed to “ignite” people. She was elected secretary of the Central Committee of Komsomol and a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Western Belarus.

In the fall of 1925, in the city of Bialystok, a young underground worker was arrested by the Polish authorities. From prison she wrote strong, courageous letters to the Soviet Union. These letters were subsequently published as a book, which was called “Letters to the Freedom”.

At the trial, she was courageous. In particular, she stated to her captors:

“Our party was born and now exists in the harsh conditions of the underground. But one wonders who drove her underground? The only answer is the government of the bourgeoisie and the landowners. We explain to the workers and peasants of Western Belorussia that our half-brothers live in Soviet Russia, who build socialism and wish us success in the struggle against capitalism. ”

First, Vera was sentenced to six years in prison, then this term was increased to eight. Seriously, she and her colleagues met the singing of the “Internationale”. In the 1930 year, while in prison, the girl was awarded the Order of the Red Banner. She spent time in prison until 1932, after which she was exchanged under the Soviet-Polish agreement on the exchange of political prisoners.

In the Soviet Union, she continued her party and journalistic activities. Nadezhda Krupskaya, who spoke very warmly about her “Letters at will”, described Vera as “an example of a real revolutionary”. Unfortunately, this did not save her from being arrested at a difficult time - in 1937.

However, before that, the girl was in trouble. After returning from prison, she wanted to abandon the Order of the Red Banner, because she believed that it should be given to all members of the underground organization, not just her. But officials misunderstood her. This resulted in the accusation that she would be acting underground "thoughtlessly and frivolously." Specifically, she was blamed for too trusting a relationship with one person who turned out to be a provocateur. She was deprived of the order and severely reprimanded. During this ugly story her husband betrayed her.

In 1935, Vera went to Kazakhstan. There she married again - Sergey Kornilov. Has given birth to daughter Anna. But on August 10, 1937 was arrested and charged with “spying for Poland”. However, an unfair accusation did not break the courage of the Faith. Four investigators were involved in her business, but none of them obtained any confessions from her.

During one of the court sessions, she stated:

“The question is, why did I have to be a Polish spy? Apparently, in order to sit in prison 7 for years ... Real spies and provocateurs in prison for 7 do not keep years, and if they keep, no more 2-3 months ... During my time in prison, they tried to recruit me, promising everything I want is for me, but I took it for a slap in the face and gave a categorical refusal to it ... No one could oppose my Soviet state, and therefore I never gave anyone the secrets of my state. I want to remember and bring here, as Louis XIV said, despite the fact that I am in prison. Louis XIV said: “The state is me!” And I want to say that the Soviet state is me! ”

After serving two years in prison, 15 August 1939 g. Vera Khoruzhaya was acquitted and released. Soon she was reinstated in the party, and then the unjust reprimand announced earlier was removed from her.

When the Great Patriotic War began, the young woman was pregnant. Despite this, she and her husband, Sergey, joined the partisan detachment under the command of V. Korzha. Her husband was soon seriously wounded and died. "I remembered Dolores Ibarruri's strong and tough words: it’s better to be the widow of the hero than the coward's wife - and I understood the meaning of these words in a new way", - Khoruzhaya wrote in her diary (must be, necessarily comparing her first husband with the second).

To send a pregnant woman to the rear, she was allegedly given a task - to cross the front line to establish contact with the Central Committee. But when she completed the task, she was not allowed back, but sent to evacuation. Soon she had a son. Called him Sergei - in honor of the deceased husband. I tried to work as an accountant on the collective farm. But very worried about the fact that sitting in the rear. "It is unbearable that I am tormented by the thought that on such ominous days, when fascist monsters torment and trample my dear Belorussia, I remain in reserve", - she wrote to the party instances, seeking to be sent to the front.

At the beginning of 1942, Vera went to Moscow to resolve this issue there. In August of the same year she was sent to Vitebsk for underground work. She took a pseudonym - Anna Sergeyevna Kornilova, combining in her the names of her children and the name of her husband who died at the hands of the Nazis.

Her group successfully operated under Vitebsk for several months. The underground workers collected information about where the warehouses and barracks of the enemies are located, and then Soviet pilots attacked them. In addition, the underground workers carried out sabotage against the invaders, helping prisoners. Under the conditions of Vitebsk, this was a very dangerous job, which was recognized even on the “big land”. Vera even wanted to be evacuated from there, but she flatly refused.

November 13 1942 of the year is a tragic day in the history of the Vitebsk underground. At the safe house Vera Khoruzhaya was captured by the Nazis. Together with her, the paws of the fascists got Sophia Pankova, with whom Vera was familiar long before the war. Several other underground workers were also arrested.

There is no exact data on when exactly Vera Khoruzhaya was executed. According to some data, it happened on December 4, on the other 6. There is even such a version, as if it was sent to Moabit and disappeared already there, but this is unlikely.

The last who saw the brave underground worker alive was the Soviet intelligence officer, Anna Kitasheva, who only miraculously escaped from the fascist prison. She then told me that she had met Khoruzhi in the dungeons of December 3 of 1942. Faith was so badly beaten and exhausted that she could not walk. Nevertheless, despite the terrible torture, she did not betray anyone and did not inform the enemies of any information.

17 May 1960, Vera Khoruzhaya was posthumously awarded the golden Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union. In addition, among its awards - the Order of Lenin and the Order of the Red Banner. In her honor were named streets, squares, schools in the cities of Belarus. In one of the Moscow schools in Soviet times, a pioneer detachment of her name acted. And finally, Belarusian scientists named a lilac variety in her honor, which is distinguished by beautiful, large pink and purple flowers ...

Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must to register.

I have an account? Sign in

  1. parusnik
    parusnik 11 December 2017 06: 41
    There is even such a version, as if it were sent to Moabit and disappeared there, but this is unlikely.
    ... That's just on the wall in one of the terrible dungeons there was a short inscription: "Horuzh ...".
    Belarusian scientists named a lilac variety in her honor, which is distinguished by beautiful, large pink-purple flowers ...
    ... The lilac variety is as tender and at the same time persistent as Vera Horuzhaya .. Thank you for the article ...
  2. XII Legion
    XII Legion 11 December 2017 07: 27
    Strong personality
    Interesting story
    Thank you!
  3. Reptiloid
    Reptiloid 11 December 2017 15: 22
    Thanks for the story, Elena. Shocked by the fate of the Soviet heroine.
  4. Monarchist
    Monarchist 11 December 2017 16: 54
    Elena, thanks for the details: I used to read about Vera Khoruzhey at school, but naturally her criminal record was not mentioned there. It seems that it was said that a child remained behind her and that she often recalled him in conversation.
    My question is: who did the children become? I hope they did not become like the grandson of a famous writer or the son of a famous party leader
  5. Ivan Tartugai
    Ivan Tartugai 11 December 2017 19: 13
    Quote from the article:
    “At the safe house, Vera Horuzhaya was captured by the Nazis.”

    Unfortunately, all our underground workers were betrayed to the Germans by our own traitors. The Wehrmacht without our traitors in the USSR would not have lasted a year. This happened with Lisa Chaykina, Nikolai Kuznetsov, with the "Young Guard" and many others.
    There is practically no information about those who gave Vera Zakharovna Khoruzhiya. They write that the documents were allegedly not preserved. Some local traitor is called Petrov, but there are a lot of Petrovs, and there is no such information about him who is this Petrov, where he was born, where he worked before the war, how he went to the underground center, led by the OT Khoruzhey. Information about the traitor Petrov is extremely stingy, only that he served the Germans as the head of the political department of the local police. There are no other locals and policemen who would recognize and give the OT to Horuzhey or track her down. There is no information directly about the failure of the VZ Khoruzhey group. There is no information that she was mistaken somewhere, than she would have betrayed herself. Vera Horuzhaya, despite her youth, was an experienced scout, worked without errors.
    Such concealment of information gives reason to believe that it was possible to betray Horushei of the OT from the center. The VZ Khorujey group mainly worked with army intelligence, in particular with the intelligence of the 4th strike army and the intelligence of the NWF and the underground, it could issue a “mole” from army intelligence. In our GRU RKKA there were also people from the Abwehr, Wehrmacht, like Shtirlits.
    1. Gamer
      Gamer 12 December 2017 00: 28
      Unfortunately, all our underground workers were betrayed to the Germans by our own traitors.

      Not only the underground workers, my great-grandfather and great-grandmother were handed over to the Germans because of the radio, the benefit was managed to quickly be put out and buried in a dunghill. It is clear that the one who brought the Germans who was in the house.
      His acquaintances also had a village near Kharkov, his brother brought Soviet scouts into the woods, the Germans shot him right in the yard, passed his neighbor from the house opposite, who later served for this, but lived quietly until he was old.
    2. Pattern
      Pattern 12 December 2017 18: 10
      Khoruzh and her detachment did not fulfill the tasks of the 4th UA and NWF. The 4th UA held the joint of the NWF and the ZF, while the NWF was engaged in the defense of the northwestern regions of the USSR, including Leningrad. And therefore, nothing could help Mr. Vitebsk, located in the deep German rear. Take a look at the map of the Red Army in 1942. 4th UA will take part in the Vitebsk operation only in 1944. The subordination of the detachment is also unknown: the NKVD, the GRU, or independently? Also, data on the specific results of the detachment’s actions are not provided. The mole version is unlikely.
      1. Ivan Tartugai
        Ivan Tartugai 12 December 2017 20: 49
        Quote: Pattern
        And therefore could not help Vitebsk, located in the deep German rear.

        From January 1942 to September 1943 the 4th shock firmly held the Velezh-Demidov line, and this line was located about 70 km from the city of Vitebsk, not at all the deep rear of the Germans. From the front line to Vitebsk for the Red Army bomber aircraft, ten minutes of flight. Of course, airfields are not located directly on the front line, but somewhere in the rear of the Red Army there are 30-50 km from the front line. Total from the air forces of the Red Army to the Vitebsk about 100-120 km, i.e. 20-30 minutes of flight. Vitebsk during this period was clogged with Wehrmacht troops, the airfield of Vitebsk was clogged with Luftwaffe planes, the railway station was clogged with trains with German troops and for German troops. The goal is very attractive. However, there was no serious bombardment of these objects. Although Vera Horuzhaya reported on the intensive work of both the airfield of Vitebsk and the railway station of Vitebsk.
      2. Ivan Tartugai
        Ivan Tartugai 12 December 2017 21: 28
        Quote: Pattern
        The subordination of the detachment is also unknown: the NKVD, the GRU, or independently?

        Yes, indeed there is really no information about the departmental affiliation of the Vera Horuzhey group. However cannot be independent. Vera Horuzhaya came to Vitebsk from Moscow, after a short preparation, and she didn’t take it herself, she chose the city of Vitebsk and came to organize a group of underground workers herself.
        In all articles about Vera Khoruzhey there is no mention of work with the NKVD. Once it is mentioned that Vera Horuzhaya addressed the headquarters of the partisan movement Ponamarenko PK. There are more references to working for army intelligence, of course, also not specifically, but still quite definitely, for example, for reconnaissance of the 4th strike army. Maybe the connection was not direct, but through a partisan detachment, but to army intelligence. Direct communication with army intelligence was not possible due to the German widely deployed radio direction finding service in Vitebsk.
      3. Ivan Tartugai
        Ivan Tartugai 12 December 2017 21: 31
        Quote: Pattern
        The mole version is unlikely.

        Very likely.
  6. Pattern
    Pattern 12 December 2017 18: 40
    In 1942, the Red Army Air Force did not bomb the Wehrmacht objects in the Vitebsk region. Our aviation had more important tasks in other directions. See the front line in 1942. In 1932, a non-attack treaty was concluded between the USSR and Poland. There is not a single word about political prisoners ... You can continue for a long time, but I would like to read the result of the study. And it looks more like articles from TSB from the time of N.S. Khrushchev (2nd and 3rd edition). But the author is well done!