Vera was born in Kemerovo
on September 30, 1919. Her
father was a miner. Her
mother was a nurse. The girl
was fond of sport. She liked
gymnastics very much. In
1937 Vera moved to Moscow
and entered the Institute of
Physical Culture. Besides, she
was seriously fond of
shooting, drawing and poetry.
Before the war sculptor Ivan
Shadr allegedly chose Vera as
the model for his famous
work "Girl with an oar"
which was established at a
main entrance of the Central
recreation park in an
environment of fountains.
Numerous similarity of this
statue appeared in parks of all
Soviet Union subsequently.
On June 22, 1941 Vera, now
a third-year student went to a
shop to buy a white dress:
she was going to marry her
childhood friend Yuri. In the
shop she learned that the war
During the fall of 1941 Vera engaged in subversive
activity. Being quite a good shot she had 6 successful
takings behind the German lines. Her last combat operation
began on the 21st of November. At night when passing
the road between two villages her group came under fire.
She was severely wounded in the shoulder during a gun
fight with German soldiers and captured. She was then
put under torture by the German soldiers.
Vera was hanged in publicity by the Germans on
November 29, 1941 at Golovkovo's state farm. Locals
gave a description Vera’s execution:
Vera was brought by car to the gallows. She lay in the car
in her underwear, all in blood. Two Germans wanted to
put her on her on feet, but Vera pushed away the Germans
and rose. Then Vera started speaking. At first she spoke
German, and then in Russian:" I am not afraid of death!"
And Vera started singing "The Internationale" and the
Germans were listening to her. Then the soldiers threw a
loop over her neck she and came off the car. Vera was 23
years old when she was hanged.
Only after a German retreat in the middle of December
Golovkovo's inhabitants was able to take Vera's body
down and give her a proper burial.
Earlier on the same day, ten kilometers from the village her
friend Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya was hanged as well.