All Slavic: "Fallen martyr" "Martyred"

arn00b

Senior Member
English
How would one translate the phrase "fallen martyr" or "martyred" in a sentence like "He was martyred in the Battle of Stalingrad" or "He has fallen martyr in the Battle of Stalingrad"?

To be clear, the case I'm looking for is a regular soldier (in active duty) in a non-religious conflict (WW2) dying on the field of battle.

Having said that, are such expressions (fallen martyr/martyred) used for civilian deaths in WW2, whether targeted (occupation killing non-fighting old men), non-targeted (aerial bombardment of cities) or not-intentional (starvation)?

Basically, is "martyr" used exclusively for religious conflicts/canonized victims, or is it all conflicts but limited to military deaths on the battlefield or the entirety of a country's death toll during the conflict?

There are languages/cultures that use the word "martyr" for protestor deaths or for victims of police brutality in non-religious contexts, so I'm curious to learn where your language draws the line for martyrdom.
 
  • rusita preciosa

    Modus forendi
    Russian (Moscow)
    Quite honestly, I can't imagine a context in English where "martyr" would work for a regular soldier losing his/her life in active duty.

    In Russian the issue is the same. There is the term мученик that is used the same as the English martyr (losing life / incurring great hardship due to beliefs, mostly religious). There is also жертва (victim) that could be used either for a soldier or more likely a civilian losing their life during a war.
     

    marco_2

    Senior Member
    Polish
    In Polish it is the same as in Russian: męczennik (martyr) loses life incurring great hardship due to beliefs; well (s)he can be e.g. tortured by the police or security forces to get some information (but not on the field of battle) and ofiara (victim) could be used either for a soldier or a civilian losing their life during a war (or accident).
     

    Ukrainito

    Senior Member
    Ukrainian & Russian
    How would one translate the phrase "fallen martyr" or "martyred" in a sentence like "He was martyred in the Battle of Stalingrad" or "He has fallen martyr in the Battle of Stalingrad"?

    "Он пал смертью храбрых в Сталинградской битве"

    Пасть смертью храбрых (lit. "to die a brave man's death") is a common phrase used in the Russian literature, history books, personal wartime reminiscences to describe exactly what you inquired about.

    There's another set phrase, "Принять мученическую смерть" (lit. "to accept a martyr's death"), used in religious contexts or in the cases when a person dies a terrible death while held captive, prisoner, hostage etc., in a defenseless position, as opposed to a soldier who dies in the battlefield while fighting.
     
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    Korisnik116

    Senior Member
    Croatian
    There's a literal translation — ‘martir’ (a noun, and we don't usually verb our nouns); hjp says:
    1. pov. kršć. onaj koji izabire smrt ne želeći se odreći vjerskih nazora; mučenik
    2. a. onaj koji čini velike žrtve da bi promicao vlastite stavove ili načela b. onaj koji prolazi kroz velike patnje; patnik
    For ‘mučenik’, (which I wouldn't use for a regular soldier) hjp says:
    1. onaj koji se jako muči i pati zbog čega
    2. onaj koji je bio mučen i ubijen zbog svojih uvjerenja ili stavova i na koga je sačuvano sjećanje [crkveni mučenik; nacionalni mučenik]
    There are other words, such as ‘stradalac’ and ‘žrtva’, which are commonly used in these contexts.
     

    Chrzaszcz Saproksyliczny

    Senior Member
    Polish - Prussia
    I think what you ask for would be poległy in Polish (plural: polegli) - more an adjective than a noun, but used as a noun nevertheless. This verb is only used for people deceased in war, and it has a kind of a honorific, official sounding.

    "Męczennik" appears rather in religious contexts, especially when someone was tortured to death.
     
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