Oleg Ozerov was born on June 17, 1922 in Spassk, Ryazan Region. In June 1940, he was called up to serve in the Red Army, in the border guards, and was sent to the Soviet Union’s western border where he completed an intensive artillery institute training course.
He was stationed near Peremysl when war broke out on June 22, 1941. At the end of July he suffered shell shock and was taken prisoner. He then went through a number of Nazi concentration camps and work camps, the last of which was located in France near Bordeaux.
With the help of French communists, Oleg Ozerov escaped and fought with a partisan detachment in Brittany (the Dombrovsky 13th International Brigade). He returned to his homeland at the end of 1945.
Oleg Ozerov is head of Combatants Volontaires, an interregional association of veterans of the French Resistance. He has been decorated with the French Order of Merit, the Croix de Guerre with swords, the Croix de Guerre, the Cross of the Volunteer Combatant and the Resistance Medal.
Gleb Plaksin was born in Paris in 1925. He joined the French Resistance right from the beginning of the Nazi occupation. From mid-1943, he fought with a partisan detachment in Normandy. When the allies landed he joined the U.S. army and became a private in the Delta attack company of the 1st Battalion of the U.S. 83rd Division’s 331st Regiment.
In 1955, he took Soviet citizenship. He worked as a musician and cinema actor, performing in 100 films. He took part in dubbing some 210 films. In 2001, he was awarded the title “Merited Artist of the Russian Federation”.
He has been decorated with 23 Soviet, Russian, U.S. and French state awards.
The President also had a brief talk with Oleg Ozerov and Gleb Plaksin in Arromanche right after the celebrations of the sixtieth anniversary of the allied landing in Normandy.