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KHERSON - ASKANIA-NOVA (part 2)

In 1898 a social-democratic group was formed in Kherson from the small social-democratic circlcs. In 1905 the soldiers of the disciplinary battalion rose in revolt, inspired by the uprising on board the battleship "Potyomkin". The "Proletariat" newspaper wrote:

"Though their plan was a failure, and even if it had not been successful under more favourable conditions, the very fact of its having existed is significant".

In 1905—1907 Kherson was the scene of massive demonstrations, meetings and uprisings. After the February Revolution of 1917 the Bolshevik groups began their struggle for the creation of Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies.

One of the streets in the town is named after the Communards. It reminds us of the heroic struggle for Soviet power in Kherson.

In 1918 the Austrian and German invaders occupied the town. The occupation authorities took up quarters in the splendest at that time building of the Town Council (now it houses the Soviet of Working People's Deputies), the steeple of which is in full view from the Dnieper. The Communards — factory workmen — took the building by storm and hoisted a Red Flag on the tower. Two weeks they defended the approaches to Kherson; then they continued their struggle underground for nine months. Hardly had the townsmen drawn a deep breath of relief after the Austrians and Germans were forced to leave, when in the spring of 1919 the town was again occupied by new invaders from England, France and Greece. And again innocent people were shot, and again followed months of selfless struggle of the underground revolutionaries with the invaders. When the invaders retreated from the town, they drove a thousand of men and women into some barns, poured kerosene over them, and set them to fire. Hundreds of people were burnt alive.

A monument in memory of the Khersonites — victims of the invaders will soon be erected on the Primorsky Boulevard (viewed excellently from board ship).

Our motor-ship is passing by the Park of Glory where there is a monument to the Unknown Soldier with eternal fire burning at its foot. The inscription on the black granite pedestal reads:

You gave your life for native land, And now immortal for ever you stand.

Not far from the Park of Glory there is quite a new park named after Leninsky Komsomol. This park was laid out by young Khersonites. In the centre stands an 18-metre high obelisk erected in honour of the heroic Young Communist Leaguers murdered in Denikin torture-chambers during the years of intervention.

In the hard time of the Denikin rule the members of the Young Communist League underground organisation added a glorious page to the history of the town. They did not spare their lives in fighting against the enemies of the Revolution. Many of them are known from the so-called "Trial of the 17" arranged by the Denikinites in Odessa. Nine of the seventeen heroes were sentenced to death by the White Guards.

This is what a young revolutionary from Kherson, Dora Lubarskaya, wrote before she was put to death: "I die honestly, as I've lived honestly all by short life. In eight days I'd be 22, but towards night I'll be shot. It's a pity to die so young. It's a pity that I've done so little for the Revolution... Very soon my Ukraine will be free, and a new, creative life will begin. It's a great pity I'll not be able to take any part in it. Farewell, Comrades! Good luck!"

The young revolutionaries gave up their lives for the happiness of other people. And the Komsomol Park, a symbol of flourishing youth, is taken great care of by the young citizens of the town.

One of the friends of Dora Lubarskaya, who also took part in the struggle, Maria Alexandrovna Fortus, is still living. A Communist since 1919, she volunteered to Spain in 1936 and fought against fascism there. Her husband Casanellas, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Catalonia, was killed in Spain, and it was in Spain that her beloved son Raymond lost his life.

For revolutionary activities and service in battle M. A. Fortus was decorated with the Orders of Lenin and the Red Banner. At present the writer M. A. Fortus carries out great work in the Soviet-French Friendship Society. She wrote a book for children called "A Duel in Gestapo", stories about the Hero of the Soviet Union, V. Porik, a participant of the French Resistance, and a screen script "Lights of Budapest".

In the Park named after Leninsky Komsomol you can see a monument to I. Kulik, the leader of the Kherson underground youth organisation "Patriot of the Country" which operated in the town during the Great Patriotic War.

The names of the heroes who gave up their lives for the liberation of their Motherland during the Great Patriotic War are on the memorial plaques and in the names of streets. One of the streets is named after A. K. Ladychuk, the former chairman of the town's council and chief of staff of the guerilla detachment commanded by E. E. Girsky. In unequal battle with a punitive expedition sent against the guerillas they all died the deaths of heroes who remained true to their duty to the end. And there is a street named after Subbota, a Soviet Army soldier who was one of the first to force a crossing over the Dnieper on the 13th of March, 1944. In the street fighting for Kherson he killed 29 German soldiers and officers and destroyed ten enemy weapon emplacements. The courageous warrior was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union posthumously.

Now you are in view of a mass of new buildings. This is the so-called Tekstilny Gorodok (a small town of textile workers) which has sprung beside the old town. And though this town is only ten years of age, it is so big that it houses one third of the population of Kherson.

Here is a tall building made of glass and concrete. It is the Palace of Culture of the textile workers, which seems wonderfully light and transparent. In the evening, when the neon lights go up, it looks like a fairy-tale castle suspended in the air. But what the Khersonites build is not castles in the air: the town abounds in new buildings.

Near the textile workers' Palace is a memorial stone set up in honour of the armed forces of the 3rd Ukrainian Front who valiantly forced the Dnieper and liberated the town from the fascist invaders in the March of 1944. Л number of large troop units were named after Kherson for that brilliant operation, and twelve men and officers were awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union. Two graduates of school No. 6 in Kherson, the young patriots L. L. Vinner and P. G. Yakubovsky were awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union posthumously.

In the autumn of 1941 a youth underground organisation was formed in Kherson. It was headed by Anatoly Zaporozh-chuk. All its members—twelve boys—were shot and hanged by the Germans near the motion-picture theatre "Spartak", where a memorial stone is now erected.

After the gloomy days of occupation the native town was quickly restored, and many new houses and factories were built.

In the remotest parts of our country — in the Far North and East —the products of the Kherson Canning Factory, the annual output of which reaches 120 million cans, are in great demand.

In 1965 the production of this factory was twice that of the whole canning industry of the tsarist Russia. Of no less importance is the textile mill which has largely grown after the war.

Not only Soviet women, but women of other countries as well favour such fabrics as "Askania" and "Radost" produced by the textile mill. They were on show at many exhibitions,

including Montreal. The output of the mill is so great that the textiles produced in excess of the annual plan only would clothe the whole population of such cities as Odessa, Nikolayev and Kherson.

No less popular both at home and abroad are the wines made in Kherson, especially such aromatic grape wines as "Naddneprovskoye", "Perlina Stepu" and "Oksamit Ukrainy", which won several gold and silver medals.

In the vast fields of Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, as well as in Bulgaria, Mongolia, and other countries you will find sprinkler installations manufactured by the Kherson Works named after Petrovsky. These installations were awarded a Gold Medal at the U.S.S.R. Exhibition of the National Economic Achievements.

On the collective farms of the Kherson Region as well as at the enterprises men and women work whole-heartedly, transforming the ancient lands of Tauria. Their feats of labour were highly estimated and the Region was awarded the Order of Lenin.

The town of Kherson is growing. New houses, new streets,

new housing centres are under construction.

There are many nice places in Kherson, but the most attractive is Ploschad Svobody (Freedom Square). It was formerly called Yarmorochnaya Ploschad (Market Square). The time was, farm-hands slept here on the ground in the open air with the prices, written in chalk on the soles of their shoes (if any), for which they were willing to sell themselves into servitude to any employer. This square also witnessed the events of 1905 when the disciplinary battalion rose in revolt. In the first years of the Revolution demonstrations and meetings were held here. The Market Square, the former square of slavery, became the square of freedom. Every red-letter day and every festive event is celebrated by the working people of the town here, at the magnificent monument to Lenin. The monument by Alexandrov, Poltoratsky, Radionov and Lokhovinin was unveiled on 6th October, 1965.

The square is buried in flowers. Quite recently here were built a wide-screen motion-picture theatre "Ukraina" seated for 800, a comfortable hotel "Kiev" accommodating 509 persons, a department store, and other buildings.

If you visit Kherson again in a few years, you will see in Odessa Square a many-storeyed hotel "Intourist", several nine-storey buildings, a winter swimming-pool. The present works and factories will be considerably expanded, and new enterprises will arise. New buildings will provide more than half a million square metres of housing space. On the Dnieper and in the town will be constructed many new sports centres and health resorts, and a dendropark will be laid out on 130 hectares won over from water-meadow lands. The right bank of the Dnieper will be clad in granite, and an embankment will connect the Park of Glory with tre Pridneprovsky Park.