Vasenin: A documentary film about a World War II veteran, who fought on the side of the Soviet army, and on the side of the French partisans, for this he was later exiled for 15 years in the Gulag . In June 2014, in his 94 years, he returned to France and again visited the places of military glory (Paris, San-Sorlin). And pay a last tribute to the love of his life, which he kept in the
heart of the past 70 years, to Joan Mono.
N.M. Vasenin biography. Nikolay Maksimovich Vasenin was born in Pyshak village on December 5, 1919. On November 20, 1939, he was mobilized by the Soviet authorities and participated in Russo-Finnish War. He was wounded, but after the beginning of the World War II in summer 1941 Vasenin returned to the front. He served near Minsk, in preasent-day Belarus, where on July 9, 1941, his regiment was encir cled. Wounded, Nikolai — just like 400,000 other Soviet soldiers — was taken prisoner by the Nazis. He changed several forced labor camps, failed attempt to escape from prison in Nuremberg and after that was sent to a labour camp situated in the Drôme in Southern France. Finally, in October 1943 he managed to flee. Vasenin, along with his comrades, joined a group of Maquisards, rural fighters of the French Resistance, where he fought from October 20, 1943, to September 2, 1944.
Nikolay Vasenin served nearby Saint-Sorlin-en-Valloire, participated in fights, in particular, in the Battle of Saint-Rambert-d’Albon in Northern Drôme. His partisan detachment of French internal forces was called “The group of Nicolas”. Now Vasenin is its last living representative. He had a fake ID for the name of Nicolas Vuate and served under the command of George Mono. Whereas Nicholas fell in love with Jeanne, the daughter of his commander.
In 1944, after the deliver ance of France Vasenin was moved to Paris, in the General Staff of the Soviet military mission. Than in April 1945, he returned to the USSR. It seemed the worst part had left behind, while the reality was more rough. Stalin considered all prisoners as cowards and traitors. Remarking on the Vasenin`s chest French Resistance Medal, Soviet officer tore it and threw away, comparing this award to the prosti tute’s fee. It was a spit in the soul. Nikolay Vasenin was sentenced to 15 years in a Soviet forced labor camp Gulag for being surren dered to the Germans and serving in France. He was released in 1960. In the mid-80s Vasenin was rehabilitated.
Since 1985, after rehabilitation, Nikolay tried to rebuild relations with fellow soldiers. In the at tempt to find his friends he requested assistance of the Russian mass media and the French consul. Unfortunately, except the honors, even deserved, he did not received any help. After the death of his wife Nikolay Vasenin applied to various war veterans organizations to find his French Resistance com rades and Jeanne Mono, whom he could never forget. Nowadays he also remembers his fellow soldiers Emil Sauvage and Jean Rae, who has several chil dren (two boys Marcel and Pierre and a girl Elise). Moreover, Nikolay holds in his memory such com rades as Henry Veld and Jean Bano. Nikolai Maksimovich visited France, in the summer 2014. It was a journey, he had dreamed about past 70 years.
December 7, 2014, Nikolai Maksimovich Vasenin passed away two days after his birthday. He left us as the hero, he kept his word: “I’m a Russian soldier. I promised her to come back … ” Nikolay Maksimovich Vasenin is the only Russian Chevalier of the Legion of Honor, awarded by this title for his achievements in World War II.
Director, Screenwriter and Producer: Andrey Grigoryev
Cameraman and Producer: Pavel Sablin
Country: Russian Federation