It is hard lo believe that Odessa with its rich and eventful past is not even 200 years old. Witness, for instance, the fact that the outstanding Russian general Alexander Suvorov was one of the founders of the fortress around which the city of Odessa was later built. Located on the southern maritime border of the Russian state, Odessa became a large seaport in the first half of the 19th century, playing an important role in Russia and Ukraine’s economy. At the same period the city became famed as one of the country’s cultural centres. In 1817 the Richelieu Lyceum was founded in Odessa, in 1829 the Municipal Public Library opened its doors and the University was established in 1865. The great Russian poet Alexander Pushkin spent thirteen months in Odessa languishing in the south exile. Pushkin’s visit to Odessa, as stated one of his contemporaries, contributed to the city’s eternity.

At an early stage of the liberation movement in Russia, a number of circles and groups of prog-ressive-minded intellectuals, ideologically close lo the Decembrist movement, were active in Odessa. The city was visited by the Decembrists P. Pestel, M. Orlov and the brothers M. and S. Muravyov-Apostol. It is notable that two days before the revolt in Senate Square in 1825 tsar Nicholas I wrote “It is obvious that there must be a nest of conspirators in Odessa.” Odessa’s stand during the 1853—1856 Crimean War was the city’s baptism of fire. In April 1854, the Anglo-French squadron tried to take Odessa, then an important seaport on the Black Sea. The local garrison was small in number and poorly equipped, but Odessa managed to withstand the assault— the enemy squadron was forced lo abandon Odessa’s shores without even having put ashore a landing party.

During the latler half of Ihe 19th century Odessa became an important revolutionary centre in Russia. It was here, that The South Russian Workers’ Union was established in 1875 — the country’s first political organization of workers headed by the prominent revolutionary Ye. Zaslavsky. With the active assistance of Dmitriy Ulyanov, Lenin’s brother, the Odessa RSDLP (Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party) Committee was organized and the Southern Revolutionary Group of Social Democrats came into being. The city became an important centre through which the Leninist newspaper Iskra was smuggled into Russia from abroad.

In 1905 the Odessa Bolsheviks elected Lenin as a delegate to the 3rd Congress of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party.

As it happened, Lenin himself was never able to visit Odessa but he closely followed the development of the workers’ movement in the city. When abroad, Lenin maintained close contacts with the Odessa social-democratic organization, kept up a correspondence with its members, helping them with advice, reinforced it with experienced Party functionaries. Staunch revolutionaries D. Ulyanov, R. Zemlyachka, S. Gusev, Ye. Yaroslavsky, M. Vasilyev-Yuzhin, V. Vo-rovsky and Sergo Ordzhonikidze were assigned to work in the Odessa Party organization.

В ночном порту Seaport at night
Other associates of Lenin such as I. Lalayants, V. Volodarsky, I. Babushkin and K. Levitsky worked in the city for a long lime.

As the revolutionary movement in Russia grew in intensity, the Odessa proletariats class-consciousness was considerably boosted by the influence of the Bolsheviks. The revolutionary actions of Odessa’s workers during the Russian Revolution of 1905 were especially effective and consistent.

In response to the events of the Bloody Sunday on January 9 in Petersburg, the Odessa Bolsheviks issued leaflets calling for the overthrow of Ihe tsarist government. By May 1905 one  of the city’s workers were on strike. In  the revolutionary movement in Odessa was in lull swing. A general political strike staged in the city eventually grew into an armed uprising of workers and sailors. Barricades were thrown up throughout the city and the people lluonged to meetings and demonstrations, which led to armed clashes with the police and the cossacks. At daybreak on June 15, when the fighting had reached its acme, the insurgent batllship Potemkin, flying the red flag of liberty, cast anchor in the roads off the seaport. A squad was sent from Sevastopol to suppress the mutiny aboard Potemkin. But the sailors of the  squadron refused to shoot at their revolutionary colleagues.

Speaking of the mutiny aboard Potemkin Lenin called the battleship an unconquered territory  of he Revolution, pointing out that the siding of a part of the army with the Revolution was demonstrated before the whole of Russia and the world.

In the 1905—1907 Revolution, as Lenin defined it, was a general rehearsal before the Revolution o| 1917. The popular masses led by the Bolshevik Parly continued their struggle which was crowned by the victory of the Great October Socialist Revolution.

The development of the revolutionary events in Odessa was closely connected with the revolutionary movement in Russia. On October 27, 1917, the joint sitting of the Workers, Soldiers, Sailors and Peasants Soviets passed a resolution on support of the armed uprising in Petrograd. However, Soviet power was not established in the city in October 1917.

С высоты птичьего полета. На переднем плане — мост, соединяющий Приморский и Комсомольский бульвары, и колоннада Дворца пионеров и школьников имени Яши Гордиенко

A bird's-eye view. In the foreground: the bridge spanning Primorsky and Komsomolsky Boulevards and the colonnade of the Yasha Gordienko Palace of Young Pioneers and Schoolchildre

The Odessa workers and revolutionary soldiers and sailors of the Black Sea Fleet began their hard battle for Soviet power in the maritime Black Sea regions. They fought the troops of the bourgeois-nationalistic Central Rada, the Austro-German invaders, the Entente forces and the White Guards under Denikin. After the October Revolution power in the city changed hands several times.

The Odessa Bolshevik underground was led by I. Smirnov-Lastochkin, A. Trofimov, Ya. Ga-marnik, I. Klimenko, P. Lazarev, S. Sokolovskaya, M. Chizhikov and others. The city’s inhabitants will always remember with deep gratitude the fearless revolutionary-internationalist, illustrious daughter of France, Jeanne Labourbe who carried on the active agitation and propaganda among the interventionist troops.

On February 7, 1920, the insurgent workers and soldiers took the city. The cavalry commanded by Grigory Kotovsky came to their aid. Now Soviet power was finally established in Odessa.

The nationwide work of restoring the devastated economy was now begun in the city of Odessa, and the inhabitants threw themselves into socialist construction.

Life in peacetime demanded heroics of a new kind — labour heroism. And it was this heroism of the masses which made possible the reconstruction of plants and factories, restoration and expansion of transport arteries and building of a modern seaport. During the First Five-Year plans dozens of new enterprises were built in Odessa.

Odessa became an important scientific and cultural centre, justly bearing the name of the “resort ipital” of the Black Sea region. By the end of the 1930s the city’s population topped 600,000.

It was the seventh largest administrative centre in the country as far as its population was connected.

Due to the complex international situation and the necessity to fortify the frontiers of the USSR,ai new Odessa military district was formed. The Party and Soviet organizations maintained close ties with labour collectives and military divisions. The unfading revolutionary and military traditions played a great role in the military and patriotic education of the city’s residents.

On June 22, 1941, Nazi Germany opened its treacherous assault on the Soviet Union. The words addressed by the Party and the government to Soviet people ,,Our cause is just! The enemy will be routed! Ours will be the victory!” were frequently heard in the long queues to the mililary committees of Odessa and at the meetings of workers and students.

A few days later, on June 26, martial law was declared in Odessa. The city’s industries were speedily put on war footing, detachments of people’s volunteers and medical units were formed. Within a very short period of time passenger ships and boats were readjusted for military needs. It became normal for people to work two or even three daily work quotas. Women and teen-agers took over the jobs of their husbands and fathers who left for the front. Party and Soviet organizations continued their systematic programme of evacuating industrial enterprises, the cily’s population and wounded soldiers.

The frontline was nearing Odessa. Early in August 1941, the German and Roumanian troops, which outnumbered 6 to 1 the troops defending the city, and had an overwhelming artillery, tank and air superiority, reached the approaches to the cily.

The Command of the South-West Front worked out a detailed plan of Odessa’s defence. On August 5, the General Headquarters of the Soviet Supreme Command ordered the troops involved to defend Odessa as long as possible using, if need be, warships of the Black Sea Fleet.

It was the first day of the 73-day heroic defence of Odessa.

On August 8, the city declared a state of siege. A few days later Odessa was blocaded on land. The sea was its only means of communication with the mainland.

“Odessa was, is and will always be Soviet” was the slogan under which the city held the heroic defence. The threat to the city welded soldiers and civilian population of Odessa still closer together, the notion of a “rear line” did not exist any more — the front line was everywhere, everyone was a defender of his native city. During the very first month of the war, more than half of the 21, 692 members of the Odessa Party organization went to the front, and 49,000 of the 52,000 Komsomol members. Over 55,000 civilians joined the ranks of a people’s volunteer corps.

Day and night the local population, assisted by field-engineer subunits, laboured to build up their defence lines. Shortly afterwards three main and three intermediate lines were built with a total length of over-250 kilometres. 100,000 of the 360,000 inhabitants who had remained in the city took part in erecting wire entanglements, digging anti-tank ditches and trenches. The whole country rallied to the support of the beleaguered city. A 46,000-strong reinforcement, military equipment and ammunition were shipped to Odessa via the Black Sea.

The ground troops were effectively supported by the naval ordnance. The Black Sea Fleet and the air force did their best to destroy the enemy supply ships, warships, and aircraft that tried to cut communication lines between the besieged city and the rest of the nation. A great contri bution to the defence of the Black Sea region was made by the Black Sea Shipping Line. Its ships made over 900 voyages to Odessa alone, delivering necessary goods and ammunition for the defenders, evacuating the wounded, women and children, as well as valuable equipment and other important cargo.

The main burden of fighting in the Black Sea maritime steppes in 1941 was borne by the Maritime Army commanded by Lieutenant-General G. Sofronov. The backbone of the army consisted of the 25th Chapayev infantry division and the 95th Moldavian infantry division. Their warfare experience went back to June 22 when they both first joined battle in the border regions of the USSR. The Maritime Army also included the 1st Cavalry division which had been formed in Odessa at the beginning of the war, and the 1st and 2nd maritime regiment. Fighting side by side with infantrymen and sailors were artillerymen, tankmen and horder guards. The skies above Odessa were defended by the 69th fighter regiment commanded by Major L. Shestakov.

On August 19, on decision of the General Headquarters of the Soviet Supreme Command, the Odessa defence area was formed. The defending forces included the Maritime Army, the Odessa naval base and a number of the warships of the Black Sea Fleet. Command of the Odessa defence area was invested in Rear-Admiral G. Zhukov, whose military career covered a long path from i private sailor of the Baltic Sea Fleet to an outstanding military commander.

19 August of 1941 was a particularly hard month for the defenders and citizens of Odessa, enemy steadily built up its offensive force and, maintaining pressure along the entire frontline, tried to break it at least in one place. The enemy slopped at nothing, undeterred by its own heavy losses: so long as Odessa resisted, the nazis could not hope to conduct successful opera-tions in the Crimea and in the Caucasus.

Soviet troops were also depleted: there was a shortage of ammunition, and all their tanks were damaged. But the Soviet people were not in the least demoralized.

On August 19, the enemy managed to seize the settlement of Belyaevka, which supplied Odessa with water. As a result, a rationing system of water distribution was introduced in Odessa: the rale being half a bucket of water a day per person. To help the situation, new artesian wells were bored, and the old ones cleared.

8,000 sailors defended the city on land. Particularly effective operations were mounted by the 1st marine regiment commanded by Colonel Ya. Osipov. They were reported by the Soviet Informbureau and the newspaper Pravda.

Yakov Breus... Today this name is well known to every inhabitant of the city. During the city’s fiercest battles for survival in 1941, the 22-year-old Lieutenant Yakov Breus took the place n| his commander who died in action. He led his soldiers in counterattacks, retaining an important defence line north of the station of Vygoda for several days. Breus’s battalion withstood I he enemy air bombardment and shelling, attacks by tanks and infantry. The soldiers fighting under Yakov Breus annihilated 1,200 invaders and destroyed 24 enemy tanks.

On February 10, 1942, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR passed the Decree on awarding the title of Hero of the Soviet Union to 14 defenders of Odessa. Ya. Breus was the first namq on the list. This exalted title was also conferred on Jr. Lieutenant V. Simonok who commanded a mortar platoon. The rest twelve of the heroes were airmen.

The skies above Odessa were defended by a mere 30 aircraft. Commanded by Major L. Shes-lakov, the airmen covered the city and the port from the air, destroyed the enemy on land, and carried out reconnaissance flights.

Second Commander V. Topolsky perished in his 123rd sortie. Senior political instructor S. Kunitsa did not returned from an air fight either. Captain M. Astashkin and Lieutenant M. Shilov repeated the exploit of Nikolai Gastello, directing their burning planes at the conglomerations of enemy tanks and infantry. Airmen of the wing took part in 576 air fights, shooting down close on 100 enemy planes.

Towards the middle of September the semicircular blockade began to close in. The enemy’s long range guns heavily bombarded the city. Reserves of the Soviet Army, militia and fire brigades, were all moved to the front line.

On September 15, the Command of the Odessa defence area received a ciphered message which ran: “Tell soldiers and officers defending Odessa thal the General Headquarters of the Soviet Supreme Command request them to withstand another 6—7 days during which time they will be given air support and reinforcements.”

The reinforcement began arriving ahead of schedule. From Moscow area arrived a battalion of the “Katyushas.” Soon the number of the city’s defenders amounted to 5 divisions.
The General Headquarters and the Military Council of the Black Sea Fleet decided to deliver a counter-stroke against the enemy and drive them away from the city. On September 22, the Soviet troops of the eastern section assumed an offensive. The success of the operation was greatly promoted by dispatching a landing party near the village of Grigoryevka. It was a unique operation in the first year of war.

On the night of 21st to 22nd September, a group of warships arrived from Sevastopol taking up a position of Grigoryevsky cape east of Odessa. The backbone of the party to be landed was the specially trained 3rd Marine Regiment commanded by Captain K. Koren. On nearing the shoreline the landing ships were met with heavy fire. Under the cover of the warships’ gunfire the dispatching began. The company commanded by Lieutenant I. Charupa was the first to land. The marines swiftly cut their way through the wire obstacles, overran the Hitlerites and burst into the village. By that time main forces of the landing party took the offensive. A fierce battle raged on through the night, each metre of ground being gained at a dear price. At 8 o’clock the troops of beseiged Odessa began a concerted offensive. The aim of the operation was not only to hurl the enemy back from the city but also to ensure the success of the landing party.

Books and songs have been devoted to this operation, it has been immortalized in monuments and museum expositions. Not long ago, almost fifty years after the battle near Grigoryevka, the large collection of relics pertaining to the heroic landing operation was enriched by one more when two schoolboys of Odessa found a cartridge which contained a half-disintegrated note addressed to the country and the generations to come. It was published in the Pravda newspaper on February 9, 1979 and read: “1941. 1 p. m. Comrades! The one who finds this note, inform the Command that the 430th company of landed marines commanded by Lieuten-ant-Captain Kozakevich is surrounded by a large enemy tank grouping.

3 p. m. An enemy attack. Again and again. The commander has been killed. We have rebuffed 28 attacks...

6.30 p. m. I, Beregovoi, Lieutenant of the Navy, have assumed the command... We have decided to break through the enemy circle... At night we shall try to join our troops; a covering group will be left behind, the rest will attack. My arm is injured, I can hardly write. I shall stay with the covering group, Political Instructor Nefedov and Master-Sergeant Vlasenko will lead the group in the break-through.

9 p. m. The group has left. We’ve stayed behind; 12 of us... Tanks are approaching... We shall meet them in a due way. My personal request is... Address: Smolensk. Tol. St. app. 12. Tell them

I died honestly, without bowing to death, looking it square in the face.

We are dying but not surrendering...”

The landing party liberated the village of Chebanka and Staraya and Novaya Dofinovka, annihilated over 400 Hitlerites, destroyed several enemy batteries and captured a great amount of enemy weaponry.

The troops of the Maritime Army drove the enemy 5—10 kilometres away from Odessa, and completely routed two of its divisions. All this produced a great impact upon the course of military actions round Odessa. The front line at the city approaches became stabilized. Odessa was no longer shelled from the east. Our troops could prepare themselves for fighting in winter conditions.

A few days later, one of the commanders of Odessa’s defence, Major-General I. Petrov, wrote the following appreciation of the soldiers, commanders and political workers in the newspaper Pravda:" These people combine exceptional presence-of-mind with a high sense of patriotic dignity,these are people who despise death. In the fight for the city the inhabitants of Odessa have been moulded into a mighty and courageous family of defenders.”

Among those who especially distinguished themselves in the defence of Odessa were Colonel Ya.Osipov, commissars of his regiment V. Mitrakov and I. Demyanov, Major N. Bogdanov, commander of Ihe 265th artillery regiment, Captain A. Kuznetsov, commander of the 21st battery of coast defence, Major A. Malovsky, commander of the NKVD infantry regiment, airmen and thousunds of others.

Komsomol members Nina Onilova was a weaver before the war, and Lyudmila Pavlichenko,a librarian. When the war broke out, they went to defend their native city as volunteers. Machine-gunner. Onilova and sniper L. Pavlichenko covered themselves with glory in battles for Odessa and Sevastopol. Both were awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union (N. Onilova wos given this title posthumously).

Fearless reconnaissance officer Aleksander Nechiporenko had been a teacher and journalist.

Shortly before the war he was elected deputy to the Odessa Regional Soviet of the Working Pioples Deputies. He was among the first defenders of Odessa to be awarded the Order of LENIN.

Brave see captains G. Vislobokov, A.Chirkov and S. Kushnarenko died in action on the bridges of their warships “Kuban”, “Chapayev” and “Pestel.” Today the Odessa Navy Museum of the USSR presents special exposition devoted to them. On display are materials on passenger and freight boats which took part in heroic defence of Odessa.

Besieged Odessa lived a strenuous life. The major industrial plants —the January Uprising factory, No. I Ship-Repair Yard (today it bears the name of the 50th anniversary of the Soviet Ukraine), Ihe October Revolution Works, the Red Guards and the Bolshevik — all worked round Ihe clock. The workers built armoured trains, repaired weaponry and tanks. It was then that famous “NI” tanks appeared on the battle field: the workers of Odessa plants sheathed tractors with armour, mounted light guns and machine guns on them and sent them into battle; amongst the teams manning these guns you would find many of these workers.

When the enemy started shelling the main aerodrome, new landing strips were built inside the city near the 5th station of the Big Fountain. This new aerodrome, built mainly by women, was laid in the space of a week.

Nor did Ihe dockers have an easy time: it was here in the seaport that “the road of life” began which linked the besieged city with the mainland. Loading and unloading operations were carried out under incessant air bombing and artillery shelling. All the sea approaches to Odessa were mined by the enemy who were on the watch for Soviet transport ships and did their utmost to put the seaport out of action and to cut the communication line linking unsubdued Odessa to the Soviet rear. But the city received constant assistance, the seaport kept in operation.

In tin' autumn of 1941 the strategic situation on the fronts deteriorated: heavy fighting for Moscow and Leningrad was going on, the enemy had taken Kiev, invaded the Donbas and the Cremea. There was a real threat that the Crimea and Sevastopol, the main base on the Black Sea,would fall. On September 30, an order was received from the General Headquarters of the Soviet Supreme Command. It read: “The soldiers and officers of the Odessa defence area, who have bravely and honestly fulfilled their duty, must be evacuated in the shortest possible time to the Crimean peninsula.”

The movement of the Soviet troops from Odessa to the Crimea in October 1941 is also considered one of the exemplary operations of the war. The maintenance of secrecy, subtle misinformation of the enemy (counterattacks in separate regions, supply of provisions and ammunitions for non-existent troops in Odessa, the building of dug-outs “for winter,” the formation of two new divisions on paper), as well as well-organized work of the fleet, made it possible, within the first half of October, to transfer from Odessa about 86,000 servicemen, 15,000 citizens, all the necessary armament, and also a great deal of industrial equipment, without considerable losses. At dawn on October 16, the cruiser Chervona Ukraina was the last warship to leave Odessa. The 73-day long defence of Odessa ended. All of its participants were awarded a medal “For the Defence of Odessa” decreed by the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet in 1942. The same medal was presented to over twenty industrial enterprises of the city.

The defence of Odessa has demonstrated the mighty vitality of the friendship of the peoples of the USSR. In a single formation, shoulder to shoulder with each other the working people of all the nationalities of our country fought their common enemy. The 1st Marine Regiment led by Colonel Osipov and which especially distinguished itself in Odessa’s defence included representatives of 20 nationalities. The fraternal friendship of the Soviet peoples was, is and will always be a source of strength and power of our multinational Homeland. The enemy were able to enter the city only after its defenders were evacuated to the Crimea.

During the 73-days-long defence of Odessa, over 160,000 nazi soldiers were killed, some 200 aircraft were shot down and a hundred of tanks were destroyed. It halted the movement of the right wing of the “South” nazi group of armies to the east.

The German invaders did not venture to enter the city immediately after the evacuation of the Soviet troops. It was only in the evening of October 16 that the first enemy units appeared in the streets of the city. Having failed on the battlefield, the fascists decided to take vengeance on Odessa’s civil population. The city’s occupation lasted 907 days, but never for a single day did the inhabitants of Odessa leave the occupiers in peace. In due course an extensive underground resistance, reconnaissance and subversive groups and partisan detachments were formed in Odessa. Their activities were guided by the Odessa underground Regional Party Committee and by the six underground District Committees. The main base of the underground and partisan movement were the labyrinthine subterranean catacombs inside the city and in the neighbouring villages.

Especially effective operations were carried out by the subversive reconnaissance detachment commanded by V. Molodtsov-Badayev based in the Nerubaiskie catacombs. The detachments was made up of brave and specially trained people a great number of whom were local citizens who were well acquainted with the catacombs. In due course the detachment provided itself with rations and weaponry. Its subterranean “barracks” included a recreation room and a mess, drinking water wells, a bath-house and a bakery.

Badayev’s detachment began military operations on the very first evening of the occupation. They attacked the advanced enemy units at the very time when the latter were entering the city and annihilated about fifty enemy soldiers. The next day they derailed an enemy train. The detachment had a reliable network of liaison agents, effective reconnaissance and steady radio communication with Moscow. Very valuable information was obtained by the sixteen-year-old YCL-member Yakov Gordienko. It was he who informed his command of the time-table of the train carrying high-ranking nazi officials. The train was derailed by Badayev’s detachment. Later Yakov reconnoitred data on the creation of a large fuel depot near Pervomaisk,and found out the time and the route of a planned march by a fascist division to Nikolaev. This information was reported to Moscow, and Soviet fighter planes were able to carry out an unexpected and very effective raid.

The partisans spent many months in catacombs staunchly braving all the hardships of this existence. The occupiers blocked and mined the entries into catacombs, pumped in poison gas but all in vain. The people’s avengers did not surrender.

In February and March 1942, the fascists arrested most of the members of the detachment. The patriots were subjected to months of torture and interrogation, but they conducted themselves with true valour. Between June and July the fascists shot V. Molodtsov-Badayev, his liaison agents Tamara Mezhigurskaya and Tamara Shestakova, Yakov Gordienko and his brother Alexei. V. Badayev was posthumously awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.

Other partisan detachments continued their operations, and new detachments were formed in the Usatovskie, Kuyalnitskie and Nerubaiskie catacombs. Underground groups were formed at a number of industrial enterprises. One of them, at No. 1 Ship-Repair Yard, was headed by Nikolai Geft, a Soviet reconnaissance officer who illegally returned to his native city in 1943. Geft managed to worm himself into the Germans’ confidence and became engineer at the yard. Even the members of the subversive group were not aware who their real commander was. Though Geft himself knew perfectly well why enemy warships went out of operation or blew up after repairs in the yard. In addition, the group headed by Geft distributed leaflets and helped Soviet patriots escape from fascists’ torture-chambers. It was especially important that the group prevented the Ship-Repair Yard from being destroyed by the enemy and saved valuable equipment from pillage.

Keeping strictly to discipline and conspiracy, N. Geft’s group was never discovered. N. Geft died in action in August 1944 in Poland, where he was dropped as commander of a reconnaissance subversive group.

At the beginning of 1944, a group commanded by Major V. Avdeev (Chernomorsky) was landed near the village of Osipovka, not far from Odessa. The objective of the landed party was to unite separate underground and partisan detachments and groups into a single formation and thereby to facilitate the offensive of the Soviet troops. On reaching Odessa, Avdeev and his comrades-in-arms conducted a propaganda campaign among the population and carried out organization work in reinforcing partisan detachments. It was thanks to the efforts of Avdeev’s group that the partisan newspaper For Our Motherland began to appear regularly. They helped establish close contacts with soldiers of the Slovak regiment who were then quartered in Odessa. Vasiliy Avdeev personally met with Slovak antifascists and handed over to them the text of the Treaty of Friendship, Mutual Assistance and Postwar Cooperation concluded by the USSR and Czechoslovakia in December 1943.

To save the city’s industrial enterprises, the seaport and monuments of culture from destruction, Odessa’s headquarters headed by V. Avdeev worked out a plan for a general armed uprising against the occupiers.

Unfortunately, on March 2, V. Avdeev was caught by the Germans and died the death of a hero.

On April 9, 1944, after covering hundreds of kilometres along slushy spring roads, and winning fierce battles in southern Ukraine which made it possible to cut off the enemy’s path of retreat to the north of the direction of Razdelnaya, the Soviet troops reached the environs of Odessa.
Jointly with units of the Soviet Army, partisans and antifascist Slovak took part in street fighting in the city.

Knowing of the enemy’s plan to blow up the seaport, industrial enterprises, and the city’s finest buildings, the Opera House including, the Soviet Command decided to speed up their operation to dislodge the enemy from the city. Advanced units of the Soviet Army and partisans managed to break through the city centre and foil the fascists’ barbarous plans.

On April 10, the troops of the 3rd Ukrainian Front commanded by General R. Malinovsky liberated the city. On the very same day, in Moscow, a salute of 24 rounds from 324 cannons announced the liberation of Odessa. The 27 units and formations which had distinguished themselves in this operation were given the honorary name of “Odessa unit”. 13,000 soldiers and officers were awarded various orders and medals of the USSR.

For their outstanding services to their country, their exceptional courage and heroism in fighting the nazi invaders, and to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the victory of the Soviet people in the 1941—1945 Great Patriotic War, the Hero-City of Odessa was awarded the country’s highest decorations — the Order of Lenin and the Gold Star Medal. Odessa’s Komsomol organization had been awarded the Order of the Red Banner some time before.

Odessa holds sacred the memory of the heroes who defended and liberated the city. In 1960 the Monument to the Unknown Sailor was ceremoniously unveiled in Shevchenko Park. Young Pioneers and Komsomol members, descendants of the heroes, stood beside the monument in a guard of honour. On the Alley of Glory leading to the monument are the graves of the heroes who took part in the defence and liberation of Odessa: Ya. Osipov, V. Molodtsov-Badayev, Ya. Gordienko, V. Avdeev (Chernomorsky), A. Nechiporenko, Ya. Breus, N. Geft, the antifascist Slovak Jan Pavlik and others.

Two granite slabs are inscribed with names of the crew members of the “M-33” and “M-60” submarines. In August and September 1942, on reaching the region of the Big Fountain near Odessa, the submarines were to paralyse the enemy’s sea route Constantsa — Sulin — Odessa, providing ammunition and food for southern groupings. Both submarines hit an enemy mine and sank.

Along the former defence line of Odessa eleven war monuments have been erected. The Belt of Glory stretches for 60 km. The Museum of Partisan Glory located in the catacombs of the Nerubaiskoe village and the memorial in honour of Odessa’s defence are frequently visited by Odessa’s residents and visitors to the city.

On the 10th of April Square (named so to honour the date of the liberation of Odessa from nazi invaders in 1944), a Victory Obelisk was erected to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Victory in WWII.

Odessa has always been aware of the motherly care and help of its nation. This care and help were the main source of inspiration and enthusiasm for Odessites who raised the city from the ruins and ashes after the war. Major city enterprises, including the seaport have been ruined. The nazis destroyed 17 hospitals, 55 kindergartens, 29 sanatoria, and burnt down about 2,300 buildings.

But as early as 1946 many schools and institutes were restored. The whale flotilla Slava set out on its first sea trip. The working rhythm of the city gained momentum.

In 1946, on the eve of the elections to the USSR Supreme Soviet, the workers of Odessa expressed their profound gratitude in a letter to the residents of the Hero-Cities of the USSR. This letter ran: “The war has taught to value our friendship with the fraternal Russian people even higher than before. The friendship of the peoples, which led us to the victory, is also the gua rantee of the flourishing and growing might of our Motherland.”

Odessa is rightly considered to be the southern sea-gate of the Soviet Union. In fact, today it comprises three seaports. The main one is situated opposite the Potemkin Stairs. From here luxury passenger liners and freighters set out on long voyages.

Another seaport, Ilyichevsk, is situated to the south of Odessa, on the shore of the Sukhoy Estuary. A new town has sprung up alongside the seaport which has outstripped the older one in territory and as far as the freight turnover is concerned, it ranks among the major ports of the lilack Sea basin.

The seaport of Yuzhniy (Southern) has been built near the village of Grigoryevka.

The Black Sea Steamship Line has a fleet of 300 ships which put into harbours in over 100 countries.

Odessa has a population of over a million. Over the last few years new residential districts have been built in this city: Kotovsky in the former eastern outskirts, and Cheremushki and Tairov south-west of Odessa. The Republican Young Guards Young Pioneers’ camp in Luza novka is like a self-contained town for youngsters.

Odessa is a city of advanced industries. It is one of the Ukraine’s largest scientific and cultural centres. Goods manufactured by local enterprises — high precision lathes, tire-mounted cranes, smithery equipment — are shipped to many parts of the Soviet Union and abroad. Light, catering, chemical and oil-processing industries successfully develop in the city.

The student body of Odessa’s 14 institutions of higher learning, 48 vocational and technical schools, and over 110 secondary schools runs to some 250,000.

Odessa is the seat of the Southern Scientific Centre of the UkrSSR Academy of Sciences. Odessa maintains contacts with 15 foreign cities in both the eastern and western hemisphere. The heroic traditions of the city live on in the lives and deeds of our contemporaries. The people of Odessa will talk with love and respect of the worker V. Cherbayev, Hero of Socialist Labour, team leader N. Tymun, Hero of Socialist Labour, and the People’s Artist of the USSR M. Bozhiy. They are proud of their fellow-townsmen heroic cosmonauts G. Dobrovolsky and G. Shonin; spacecraft designers V. Glushko and A. Nudelman, both twice Heroes of Socialist Labour; N. Puchkovskaya, member of the USSR Academy of Medical Sciences and Hero of Socialist Labour; S. Andronati, member of the UkrSSR Academy of Sciences; Yu. Zaitsev, corresponding member of the UkrSSR Academy of Sciences; V. Fashchenko, winner of the Taras Shevchenko State prize.

Carefully preserving its revolutionary, military and labour traditions, the city of Odessa grows bigger and lovelier with every year.

Продолжение часть 3.Continued part 3