Travels to Kherson and Yalta in Ukraine
to Meet Marina Chedakina for the First Time
April and May, 2002
Chapter 1 -- 2 -- 3 -- 4 -- 5 -- 6 -- 7 -- 8 -- 9 -- 10 -- 11
Greetings, everyone - Here's Chapter Two of my trip to Yalta with Marina --
Marina and I go for many long walks around Kherson. Here's a place where people get married - it's not really a church, it's a government house where weddings are performed.
Looks good, eh? I mean the building... or Marina :-)
There is a very large park in Kherson, called "Lenin Park". It is large, very large. It is too large for us to walk to all of the places, unless we were to spend dozens of hours. There are no parks like this in Knoxville.
I asked Marina about Lenin, and she told me much. I asked her about Stalin, and she said that every statue and monument of Stalin had been destroyed - every one in Ukraine. She would not speak much about Stalin. Marina likes very much to learn about history. She told me about how the German people felt about the "Great War" (World War 2), and how the common soldiers fought for what they were told was good, and how that when they came home from the war, most everything they knew in their country was destroyed. All their homes were gone, like dust, and their cities were blasted to smithereens, and these German soldiers had fought for their country as good soldiers, and they returned to a Germany that was destroyed, and their lives were destroyed, and they did not know why, because their leaders had not told them the truth.
I told Marina that German Leaders knew very well what they were doing, and she said, "Yes, the leaders knew, but the common soldier, even if he was German, did not know of all this. He only knew what he was told."
I told Marina "Stalin killed as many of his own people as did the Germans - if he had not decimated his own army with his purges, then he would have defeated the German attack with much less difficulty."
Marina did not want to talk about Stalin, I think. If you meet with Marina later, I think it might be best to not talk much about Stalin.
I am not a history expert, especially when it comes to Soviet history. However, from the little bit I know, this seems to me to be the basic Soviet strategy - throw bodies at the problem -- however many bodies it takes, however long it takes, throw more and more bodies at it. This is just my own feeling, and I did not discuss it with Marina. It is not necessarily a bad strategy, but it is expensive in bodies. I did not learn anything on this trip which makes me feel differently.
As we walked about the town, we saw the Naval Academy.
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