WWII & The Catacombs

Odessa’s World War II History

Ukraine Odessa WWII Museum Monument Ukraine Odessa WWII Museum Medals
Like almost every city in eastern Europe, there is some deep world war II history here and fighting here when the Nazis entered. Above is a memorial for those who fought the Nazis in the city of Odessa in the military museum here. There is plenty of equipment from the war and personal items such as the medals on the right. Below are two motivational posters from the war which say “the motherland is calling” and “avenge” respectively (Thanks Ami!).
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Ukraine Odessa Catacombs Blocked Entrance Ukraine Odessa Catacombs Barricade
One of Odessa’s most famous features is its underground catacombs that are said to be the largest in Europe. Originally these natural catacombs were expanded by miners and after they were abandoned they were taken over by criminals and smugglers. This has an interesting history in itself, but probably their most important service was during World War II when people fought the Nazis by living underground here, sometimes up to several years. Most of the catacombs are blocked off, though there are entrances all over the city. On the left is one entrance that has been blocked. On the right is a machine gun that had been positioned in front of an entrance and was manned by a soldier in pure darkness. This made it impossible for nazis to enter the catacombs and see what was ahead of them, and would run into machine gun fire.
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Entering the catacombs was one of my favorite experiences in Ukraine. The dark and eerie tunnels and drawings left behind from World War II are amazing. I can only imagine what it was like to actually live here throughout the war. The partisans spent so much time in the catacombs that they eventually decided to build some more infrastructure which includes the large classroom on the lower left and the bed designed for several people on the lower right.
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Examples of how laundry would be done and clothing dried while the partisans lived underground for several years. The well on the right still has water and was their life line to being able to survive here for so long.
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Some of these items are authentic World War II memorabilia, but most are replicas. The two photos show a Soviet command center on the left and some World War II gear on the right which includes Molotov cocktails.
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On the left is a repainted slogan that was used by the partisans who were living in the catacombs. On the right is a setup of what one of the Soviet Leaders offices would have looked liked.
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Above is a memorial build for those who lived and fought the .azis in the caves during World War II. The memorial was built about 40 years ago, but the writing on the wall was written during the actual war. I don’t know what it says but I know it’s a comic insulting the nazis