“France and Armenia share a common history and ancient ties. At a time when the President of the Republic has decided to transfer Missak Manouchian to the Panthéon, honor to receive [Armenian Defense Minister] Suren Papikyan to keep the friendship and the defense relationship alive,” Lecornu tweeted.
La France et l’Arménie partagent une Histoire commune et des liens anciens.
l’heure où le Président de la République a décidé du transfert de Missak Manouchian au Panthéon, honneur de recevoir @papikyan_suren pour faire vivre l’amitié et la relation de défense . pic.twitter.com/1HA95nih9q
Missak Manouchian, an Armenian poet and fighter in World War II, will enter the French Pantheon mausoleum and join an elite group of France’s revered historical figures, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday, June 18.
Known as being “pantheonized,” the rare tribute is reserved for those who have played an important role in the country’s history.
He led a small group of foreign Resistance fighters against the Nazi occupation, carrying out attacks on German forces and acts of sabotage in Nazi-occupied France in 1943. Macron said Manouchian “embodies the universal values” of France and “carries a part of our greatness.”
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 the Nazis on February 21, 1944. By entering the Pantheon, Manouchian will become both the first foreign and communist Resistance fighter to be awarded the honour. Manouchian will enter the Pantheon alongside his wife Mélinée, who survived him by 45 years and is buried alongside him at the Ivry-sur-Seine cemetery.
Macron paid tribute to Manouchian’s “bravery” and “quiet heroism” in a statement Sunday, as well as to other foreign Resistance fighters. Other major French figures to be reburied in the Pantheon include Victor Hugo, Voltaire and Marie Curie, Le Monde reported.
Manouchian arrived in France in 1925 after surviving the Armenian Genocide.