Thursday, December 09, 2004

This is a photo of the still empty Maidan that my papa took in July 1951. In the right-hand corner, you can see part of a roofless skeleton of a building - one of the last reminders of what Khreshchatyk looked like after WWII.

It's amazing to think of all the changes that have occurred at this spot in the past half-century...

It used to be October Revolution Square before they renamed it into Independence Square; it keeps being reconstructed; there used to be a huge Lenin-with-the-workers statue (called Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves by the people) and now there's a shopping mall there and a huge, tacky column with a woman on top of it; part of the post office building collapsed sometime in August 1989 (I may be wrong about the date, but I did hear the horrible sound of the crash from my window), killing over a dozen people, and now the renovated wall looks like Reichstag, with the names of the people who came to Maidan to defend their freedom written all over it; the humongous, ugly and lousy Hotel Ukraine used to be called Hotel Moskva (Moscow) until very recently...

There's so much more - and I wish I had the patience and the knowledge of an historian to recount at least some of it here...


  1. It is amazing, I have seen a lot of WWII photos, documentaries, when you are living in Germany you know how most of the cities were looking like: devasted. But now, viewing this photo I realise I have no idea about the 50ies and the cities throughout the USSR.
    But here it comes, each day we will know more about Ukraine

  2. It used to be October Revolution Square before they renamed it into Independence Square. . .I wouldn't be surprised if people start calling it "Orange Revolution Square".