France’s President Emmanuel Macron declared that Missak Manouchian, an Armenian poet and French Resistance fighter during World War II, will join the Pantheon mausoleum and an elite group of France’s revered historical figures.

An Armenian poet and communist fighter in World War II will enter the Pantheon mausoleum and join an elite group of France’s revered historical figures, French President Emmanuel Macron said Sunday.

Known as being “pantheonized,” the rare tribute is reserved for those who have played an essential role in the country’s history.

Missak Manouchian, who arrived in France in 1925 as a stateless refugee after fleeing violence, joined the Communist Resistance during World War II.

He led a small group of foreign Resistance fighters against the Nazi occupation, carrying out attacks on German forces and acts of sabotage in Nazi-occupied France in 1943.

In 1944, the group, which included several Jews, was put out of action when 23 of its members were rounded up and sentenced to death by a German military court.

The Nazis shot Manouchian on February 21, 1944.

Photographer unknown, Main foreign Work FTP-MOI; Book: Mélinée Manouchian, Manouchian, Les Éditeurs français reunited, 1974.

The collaborationist Vichy regime later tried to discredit the group and defuse the anger over the executions with an infamous red poster depicting the dead fighters as terrorists.

By entering the Pantheon, Manouchian will become the first foreign and communist Resistance fighter to be awarded the honor.

Manouchian will enter the Pantheon with his wife Melinee, who survived him by 45 years and is buried at the Ivry-sur-Seine cemetery.

Macron paid tribute to Manouchian’s “bravery” and “quiet heroism” in a statement Sunday, and to other foreign Resistance fighters.

Other major French figures to be reburied in the Pantheon include Victor Hugo, Voltaire, and Marie Curie.

The tribute on Sunday marks part of a long series of memorials leading up to the 80th anniversary of the end of World War II, which are set to continue next year with events to commemorate the liberation of Paris.

Miroslava Salazar with AFP