Monday, September 12, 2005

So we're making coffee today and chatting about Israel: if nothing else, what a waste it is to be destroying the buildings in which the Jewish settlers lived, and their synagogues.

"They could've made something like our kommunalki out of those houses, and shops out of the emptied synangogues," I say.

"Imagine what this country would've looked like if the White Army had destroyed all their buildings upon retreat," Mishah replies after a pause. "How many generations would've been doomed to live in holes dug in the earth..."

Imagining life without kommunalki is just too overwhelming.

If nothing else, tourists would have no magnificent St. Pete facades to admire...


There's an online St. Pete kommunalka museum - in Russian. Keep clicking on the yellowish arrow pointing to the right at the bottom of each page to look at the photos - they are vivid enough to survive without the text.

Whenever I see these pictures, I keep being amazed at what a treasure this little collection is - but I also thank God profusely for not having to live in one of the shitholes.


  1. "what a waste" - I thought that as well but also realized that if I had resided in one of those bldgs then had to give it up, I too would want it destroyed before handing it over, so as not to be inhabited, turned into a site depicting how I lived, ... Mean of me, I guess but true to human nature (which is exactly why I strive to rise above it - sometimes not to successfully).

    09.12.05 - 11:47 am

  2. I had the exact same thought. What a waste. But also an insult. It took extra effort to destroy those buildings. Nothing good can come out of that. It wasn't very big of them to do that. If I had to leave my home I would want someone else to get some good out of it. I wouldn't want what I had worked for to go to waste.

    In order to resolve a dispute or argument someone has to make the first move in good faith. That is what my dad used to say. I doubt this conflict can be resolved. They may as well have just fought it out and destroyed the buildings and themselves in the process.

    09.13.05 - 7:34 am

  3. I can't get the link to work.. is it down?

    09.13.05 - 6:31 pm

  4. Doesn't work for me, either. Hope it's a temporary problem - it did work yesterday...

    09.13.05 - 6:45 pm

  5. Cool museum.

    09.15.05 - 6:41 pm

  6. Oh good, I'm glad they're back online. And I'm glad you like the pics, Don. (Hey, I'll write you soon, sorry for keeping silent, not feeling too talkative now, want to write a normal letter, not just hi and bye, but can't force myself to...)

    09.15.05 - 7:51 pm

  7. Don't worry, I enjoy your site. Also that Museum site is a good learning tool for me.

    09.16.05 - 6:41 am