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Monument to Babel


Isaak Babel (1894—1940) is a Jewish Russian author and playwright. His works include Odessa Stories, The Cavalry. If you want to feel the spirit of old Odessa you must read the Odessa Stories.

The destiny of the writer is sad. He was arrested in 1939 by Stalin’s agents, tortured and shot in the NKVD chambers. Stalin personally signed his sentence because he did not like the author. Babel was vindicated in 1954 and after 1956 reinstated as a Soviet writer through the efforts of writer K.Paustovskiy who liked Babel very much. Yet his works were heavily censored by the government.

The monument was formally opened on the 4th of September, 2011 across from the house at 17 Rishelyevskaya Street where the writer had lived until 1924. That building had had a memorial sign back in the USSR, in 1964. The idea to make a monument to Babel dawned on Vice-President of the World Club of Odessites when he had seen a new monument to writer I.Franko and was astonished to see a monument to someone who had hardly been to Odessa and had not been associated to it at all while there were very few monuments to true Odessites. The idea was supported by the municipal government. The funds were raised around the world. There was a competition for the best project of the monument. The one suggested by Moscow sculptor Frangulyan won. Babel is sitting with a sad posture. That was criticized by some people, in particular the writer’s daughter pointed out that Babel had been a real Odessite — a happy and cheerful person with lots of humor…





Street Address

Corner of Jukovoskovo and Rishelyevskaya Streets, Odessa, Ukraine.

Geographical Positions

E30°44'23.3" N46°28'47.2" (E30.739806° N46.479778°).


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