The groups of builders transformed the city and gave it a special image that have been lasting for many decades. Komsomol brigades arrived from all over the Soviet Union. Thanks to the energetic, active young men and women, Norilsk received the unofficial status of the city of young people. According to statistics, in 1956 a record number of weddings were celebrated there – 3 923. Life was in full swing, the city expanded, and the Komsomol members’ accomplishments were closely intertwined with the entrenched Norilsk realities.
As a rule, brigades competed among themselves about their achievements. Such rivalry benefited the city and added excitement. In addition to important industrial and urban facilities, the paratroopers built houses and shaped the whole of Norilsk. Komsomol members who arrived from the capital erected a whole street and called it Moscovskaya. In parallel, Leningraders settled down Leningradskaya street.
Representatives of the brigades competed not only in work. It is no secret that Moscow and Leningrad are the two main cities of the vast country. How to understand who is more important?
According to the children of the large construction project participants, the clashes occurred often. But not without romance. Moreover, it happened that girls from Moscow brigades were friends with boys from Leningrad and vice versa. How was it possible to communicate, so as not to incur the wrath of hooligans? But love and friendship do not depend on the place of registration.
“Komsomol members found a way out,” said Lidia Schipko, the head of the cultural and educational department of the Norilsk Museum. “Perpendicular to Moscovskaya and Leningradskaya streets there was one with a talking name – Peace street. Couples in love walked freely on it. The street became a kind of bridge between Moscow and Leningrad and a symbol of the friendship of Komsomol members”.
Today, the street names given by Komsomol brigades in honor of their cities remain the same. And Norilsk, as before, is a great home for natives of various cities and even countries.
Read in the Truths and myths: why there were bees in the northern greenhouses, whether Vysotsky visited Norilsk or not, what is hidden under the columns of Arena-Norilsk and how the architect’s wife could avenge her spouse.
Text: Julia Gubeladze, Photo: Nikolay Schipko