The Last Lenin alive

Once there stood a Lenin. Once there stood hordes of Lenins all over the Soviet Union. Latvia was no exception to the rule for every city and town was supposed to have one. And they did. The design did not wary much though. Lenin was always neatly dressed rocking a waistcoat, a tie and a jacket; some statues had a light coat too. The only Lenin with a winter coat and a fur hat was to be found in Daugavpils. Coincidence or not, but the second largest city of Latvia really does hold several records of the lowest temperature in winter. Interesting that even the Lenin’s bust in Antarctica (yes, true revolutionaries do not fear the distance) does not wear any winter clothing…LENIN

Most of the statues had a full body, but some had nothing else but the head like the one in Zeltiņi (formerly Alūksne), Valka, Jēkabpils and Limbaži (by the way, in Las Vegas you can find a Lenin’s statue that is complete opposite to this trend – the statue has everything else but the head). Most often Lenin was depicted standing because, well, you cannot lead the human race to the bright future while sitting. “Just keep going in that direction, I will follow in a minute” approach would not work. However there were couple of sitting Lenins here too – one in Bauska and the other in Ludza.

And then the wind of change came. While the rest of the country went its own way and slowly got rid of all the monuments, Skrunda-1 had a different story. The town remained an isolated island due to the presence of the still functioning radars and the ever-present Russian military making their statue the last standing Lenin in Latvia. However also the story of this lone wolf came to an end. Shortly before leaving the town, the military administration of Skrunda-1 gave the monument away as a gift to a local collection where it stands defiant still today.

See all with your own eyes and apply: trips@hieroglifs.com

Streets in Skrunda 1

Skrunda 1 ielu nosaukumiIt might seem surprising that there is only one street in Skrunda-1. What is more surprising is the name of this street. For some reason and against all odds it was not named after Lenin although the streets bearing the name of the great revolutionary ranks third with 5,167 cases throughout Russia alone. It was not much different in the rest of countries of the former Soviet Union. He is number one in Ukraine and highly prominent in other countries too. The street names like Soviet, October’s, Gagarin’s, First of May and other Soviet era names were to be found even in the smallest villages. However it was not the case with Skrunda-1. You would expect that a military town would choose a common name from the list above or at least pay tribute to a Red Army general like Marshal Zhukov (a lot of streets named after him too) who became legendary for his success during World War Two and especially the Battle of Berlin. Or at least to commemorate the victory in that war. Not this time. The only street here was given a rather simple and, considering its strategic importance, even humble name – The New Street. Why? No certain answer is available and now we can only guess as the archives of the military sites are always kept well “under the radar”.