A memorial flower laying ceremony was held at the Brussels Memorial Cemetery in Ixelles, Brussels, Belgium on May 8, 2024. There are graves of Russian participants of the resistance movement of Belgium. Among them is the grave of “Belgian Joan of Arc” Marina Alexandrovna Shafrova-Marutayeva.

On December 8, 1941 Marina in the center of Brussels killed the deputy German military commandant Major Kruge and escaped. The Germans, infuriated by such audacity, took hostages and demanded that the killer surrender. Upon learning of this, Marina confessed to her husband and decided to surrender, but on the way she killed another German officer. She was arrested and sentenced to death. Belgian Queen Elizabeth appealed to Hitler to pardon the mother of two young children, but the Führer refused and personally approved the sentence of execution. Marina was executed on January 31, 1942. Before her death she said: “I am happy to give my life for the Motherland, for the Soviet people.”

The memorial ceremony was attended by staff and guests of the Russian House in Brussels.