VITRY-SUR-SEINE, France (Deutsche Welle) – The Armenian tailor was the last surviving member of the Manouchian group, a World War II resistance cell made up of foreigners that carried out attacks in Nazi-occupied France. President Emmanuel Macron praised him as a “hero.”
The last survivor of a famous group of immigrant workers that fought against the Nazi occupation of France during World War II died on Saturday, August 4, at the age of 101, French media reported.
Arsene Tchakarian, a tailor of Armenian origin, passed away at a hospital near his home in the Paris suburb of Vitry-sur-Seine, where he had lived since 1950.
He had dedicated his life to fighting “facism,” French paper Le Figaro reported. After fighting in the legendary resistance group Manouchian, Tchakarian’s historical and memorial tasks occupied him for the rest of his long life. He turned his home in an archival center, spoke at colleges and schools about the Nazi occupation of France, and campaigned for the recognition of the mass killings of Ottoman Armenians as a genocide.
“I’m sort of the last of the Mohicans, as they say,” Tchakarian said, according to French newspaper Le Figaro.
French President Emmanuel Macron paid homage to Tchakarian on Twitter, praising his historical work and calling him “a hero of the resistance and a tireless witness whose voice resounded with force until the end.”