Saturday, October 10, 2009

Naming and Re-naming

One of the first things God did after creating us humans (according to the Genesis story) was order Adam and Eve to name the animals. It appears that naming things is what we people do. We create and then we label.

Over in Russia they not only name, but they re-name, and then re-name again. Names were changed after the 1917 October Revolution, with the rise and fall of various Soviet officials, after the victory of WWII, after Stalin's death (when Kruschev came to power) and then again more recently in the 1990s after the USSR's collapse. Here's a few examples of this confusion.

St. Petersburg (on the Baltic Sea) was once Leningrad (renamed when Lenin died 1n 1924 until the year of the USSR's death in 1991). From 1914 until 1924 it was Petrograd.

Volgograd was once Stalingrad (1925-1961) and before that it was Tsaritsyn. It's on the western side of the Volga River. There's still discussion about renaming it Stalingrad.

Kaliningrad. (Also on the Baltic Sea) This Russian city was once called Koenigsberg (...til Feb., 1945 when it was heavily bombed). See this youtube link.

Slavskoye. (This was once Kreuzburg - and close to Koenigsberg). My mom spent her teenage years here. In those days it was part of East Prussia - a country that's been renamed and today is part of the Russian Federation.

Kaliniwka (35 kilometers northwest of Zhytomyr) used to be Federofka - my mom's birthplace. Today it's a tiny, sad place - with no links on the internet, except for Don Miller's.

Then there were cities like Tomsk 7 (now Seversk) that didn't even exist on maps because they were considered 'secret' cities.

So you can see how an old person, with an already sketchy memory, can get totally messed up and how the next generation (people like me) can scratch their heads and wonder where these places are and if those old memories can be trusted.

Not only that, the current government in Russia is trying to control history so that Stalin has a positive image. This mass manipulation is happening right now. It's totally frightening.

Follow up with these links:

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