Let’s Do a Little Experiment. Letters from the Residents of USSR about the Renaming of Kaliningrad in 1991-1992

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The debate over the renaming of Kaliningrad in 1991–1992 is examined on the basis of newly discovered archival documents and press materials. The controversy over the name of the city, which emerged in the second half of the 1980s, was brought up to date on a number of occasions. In 1991, some town councillors undertook initiatives to submit the question of the renaming to a referendum, but they were not enough to put it on the agenda for a general discussion. In the early 2000s, a bill was being prepared in the regional Duma that equated attempting to change the name of the city with a crime. The sluggish debate over the city’s name continues to this day. The sources for this publication were 13 letters of Kaliningrad inhabitants and residents of other cities of the Soviet Union, sent in response to the “appeal” of the head of the Kaliningrad branch of the Soviet Culture Fund, the writer Y.N. Ivanov, published in the November 1991 newspaper “Königsberg courier” and "The Literary Gazette. Different points of view and relevant arguments on the issue of renaming the city are shown, including the return of the name “Königsberg”.

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