This page uses content from Wikipedia and is licensed under CC BY-SA.

Boris Vildé

Boris Vildé
Vildé 2.jpg
Boris Vildé
Born(1908-06-25)June 25, 1908
DiedFebruary 23, 1942(1942-02-23) (aged 33)
Occupationlinguist and ethnologist

Boris Vildé (25 June Old Style/8 July 1908 – 23 February 1942) was a linguist and ethnographer at the Musée de l'Homme, in Paris, France. He specialised in polar civilizations. He was born in St. Petersburg into a family of Eastern Orthodox Russians. His family moved to Tartu, Estonia in 1919. He studied at the University of Tartu, before moving to France.

Vildé was active in the French Resistance during World War II. In July 1940, Vildé together with Paul Rivet created one of the very first resistance groups.[1] During the Resistance he led the scientists and lawyers of the Groupe du musée de l'Homme in producing an anti-Nazi and anti-Vichy newspaper, called Résistance. The group, one of the first Résistance units, was infiltrated by a Vichy supporter and, as a result, most of them were arrested, tried and the men among them sentenced to death. Vildé was killed by firing squad, together with Léon-Maurice Nordmann, Georges Ithier, Jules Andrieu, René Sénéchal, Pierre Walter and Anatole Lewitsky, on 23 February 1942 at Fort Mont-Valérien. They are buried in the cemetery at Ivry-sur-Seine.[2]

Boris Vildé last words before being executed by the Nazis were:

“I love France. I love this beautiful country. Yes, I know it can be small-minded, selfish, politically rotten and a victim of its old glory, but with all these faults it remains enormously human and will not sacrifice its stature.” [3]


  • Humbert, Agnès (tr. Barbara Mellor), Résistance: Memoirs of Occupied France, London, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, 2008 ISBN 978-0-7475-9597-7 (American title: Resistance: A Frenchwoman's Journal of the War, Bloomsbury, US, 2008)
  • Vildé, Boris, Journal et lettres de prison, 1941–1942, Editions Allia, Paris, 1997
  • Benfoughal, Tatiana, « De Saint-Pétersbourg au Mont Valérien : biographie de Boris Vildé, ethnologue des peuples finno-ougriens et résistant » in Bérose, encyclopédie internationale des histoires de l’anthropologie, 2018.
  1. ^ Ousby, Ian Occupation The Ordeal of France, 1940–1944, New York: Cooper Square Press, 2000 page 213.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-11-03. Retrieved 2008-11-11. French Resistance
  3. ^ Cobb, Matthew (2012) The Resistance: The French Fight Against the Nazis,”

External links