Digression: Georgia 1987
|Stalin guarding the railway|
station entrance in Gori (1987).
One day in Tblisi two of us departed from the group, and set off for Gori, the birthplace of a certain dictator. Here one of the few remaining museum and memorial of the mentioned dictator could be found. The rest had been removed during Khrushchev's de-stalinisation. When I asked our Danish-speaking guide if we had the "KGB's approval to go there", he said with a grin: "Ja. Fordi jeg er KGB" (Yes, because I am the KGB). At Gori station a portrait of Stalin welcomed us, and on the city square stood a huge statue. There was also a museum, located in the house where he was born. Around the house was erected Greek columns, and the whole thing looked decidedly ridiculous. The price item on exhibition was a railway carriage (inherited from the Romanovs) where Stalin met Churchill and Roosevelt at Yalta in 1945. Inheriting a railway carriage from the Romanovs remind me of motives from George Orwell's "Animal Farm". The museum is still operating, but the statue was removed from the square in 2010.
Kyiv city centre
|Former Hotel Praha, where Hašek (at times) worked as|
editor of "Čechoslovan" from July 1916 to February 1918.
The focal point of the former POW's activities in the city was Hotel Praha on Volodomyrska 30 (now 36), which housed the offices of "Čechoslovan". The building is now closed, but the plaque with Hašek's name is still there. The location is in the centre, not far from St. Sophia cathedral (Собор Святої Софії) and the monument to Bohdan Khemlnytsky and other places of interest nearby. Close to it is also the university where the reserve units of the Czech volunteers had their barracks. This is surely the spot where Hašek was "superarbitrated" in 1916 (again I wasn't aware of these circumstances in 2010).
|Podvalnyi prospekt on a map from 1914.|
The clock tower of Saint Sophia to the right.
I even spent our looking for "Cafe Podolskoje" which Pavel Gan claims was the stage of the mentioned incident and was located by the boat landing stage at Poštova ploša. Hašek's Podvalná ulice can't be located but Podvalnyi prospekt is close enough *). It was located not far from the offices of "Čechoslovan". The small street has since passed into history: this area of Kyiv seems to have been completely rebuilt.
It is still unclear where the incident between Hašek and the officer took place as neither Pytlík nor Gan indicate their sources.
*) Thanks to Jaroslav Šerák for helping me to locate it.
|View from Kyiv across towards Darnitsya. On March 1|
1918 the Czechoslovak Army Corps and the Bolsheviks
retreated across the the bridge ahead of the advancing
Boryspil, a downpour and a Big Mac
|Boryspil: this is where my "reserch trip" ended.|
My own trip there again went via Darnytsia, jumping off the metro to take a bus. There were direct trains but I was incapable of locating the platform at the enormous Kyiv Passasjyrski. Presumably it left from "primiski voksal" (sub-urban station) next door.