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Europe/Russia : Stalingrad - But Not Always

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Guthrum
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04 Mar 2016
11:36:04am
Stalingrad - so named because Uncle Joe did not like the pre-revolutionary name 'Tsaritsyn' - was of course the location of what many term the bloodiest battle of all time, and for most historians the turning point of World War 2. As such it was duly commemorated on various stamps.

Naturally after Stalin's death and the Khrushchev de-Stalinisation programme a new name was devised, and in 1961 the city was renamed Volgograd, and so it remains to this day. Three years ago, however, the city authorities managed to have the name 'Stalingrad' reinstated, to be used in the term, 'Heroic City Stalingrad' on nine significant dates in each year.

But wait! Stamps seemed to have anticipated this move by some decades! Have a look at this - it will help if you recognise the Cyrillic name СТАЛИНГРАД (or Сталинград):

First up, a stamp of the Stalinist era, marking the rebuilding of the city:

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(The writing means "Granite pedestal indicating the front line of Stalingrad's defence at the Pavlov House" - a 60-day siege early in the battle. You can see the word for Stalingrad at the beginning of the third line.)

That stamp was issued in 1950. By the time of the next stamp, in 1963, the word was not to be uttered, even though the battle was commemorated:

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"20th Anniversary of the battle of the Volga" - you can see an outline of the city in the background. And, two years later:

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The correct appellation "Hero City Volgograd".

At that point Goznak seemed to tire of political correctness - a risky move, you might think. Here is a stamp from 1968:

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You can just make out the last word in the red inscription - we are back to 'Stalingrad'! And by 1973, no longer was the name in tiny writing:

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(First word, bottom line 'Stalingradskoye'.) And so it has remained ever since, whatever the authorities decree.

Efforts have been made to convince Vladimir Putin to change the name back to Stalingrad. He doesn't seem to oppose the idea very greatly, although nothing has been done yet.








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ikeyPikey
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04 Mar 2016
02:36:06pm
re: Stalingrad - But Not Always

You & I are way too interested in the rivulets & detritus of The Commie Way.

I had ass-u'me'd that 'Volgograd' was a restoration, just like 'St Petersburg' ... thanks for that.

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey

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