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Ekaterina I, Einstein, Chukovsky, Al Capone, Lee Harvey Oswald. What connects these people with Minsk?

Previously the house of famous Belarussian noble family Sapieha was on present-day Oktyabrskaya Square. Samuil Skavranchuk was working for Sapieha family as a gardener. Later his daughter Marta was born, and they moved to Livonia. After that, the girl changed her surname and became Skavronskaya. Later the gardener’s daughter married Peter I and became the Russian empress Ekaterina I.

Kristina Bugaenko, the guide:
In fact, historians still argue about the origin of the father of Marta. Someone says that he was a Lithuanian, someone calls him a Latvian or Estonian. But maybe he was living here, in Minsk.

The lines of Korney Chukovsky’s poem Doktor Aibolit are familiar to both children and adults. But few people know that the writer had been in our Belarusian “Africa”. It was the name of the area in the center of Minsk.
Place was considered very unfortunate. Also, there lived the famous doctor Yakov Shabat. One day Chukovsky came to his friend in Minsk.

Kristina Bugaenko, the guide:
Suddenly, during the feast there was a knock at the door, a man came and said that the hospital brought the child with peritonitis. Korney Ivanovich was upset and asked Yakov how far it was to go. Yakov said: “No, it’s here, in “Africa”. It is quite possible that Chukovsky wrote about our Minsk “Africa” in his famous poem.

The Belarusian State University could be named after Albert Einstein.

In 1921, the university was opened and teachers from abroad were actively invited. Among guests was Yakov Grommer, who worked with Einstein for some time. Yakov became a professor of the BSU, and then even Einstein himself wanted to work here, but his request was declined by Stalin.

In the XIX century, on the site of the present Rakovskaya Street and Osvobozhdeniya Street, there was the Guziks’ inn. It was known by the fact that stolen things were bought here. The father of the family worked with the famous gangster Al Capone. The eldest son held the largest brothel in Chicago.

Kristina Bugaenko, the guide:
In Chicago, he became known as Mr. Well, because he used to came to people on the street and said: “Well.” The correct response was a bundle of money.

Lee Harvey Oswald lived on Communisticheskaya Street. He was the man who, according to the official version, killed US president John Kennedy.

Oswald lived in Minsk for several years, worked in a factory, was married and had a daughter. But a few years later he and his wife decided to return to the United States. He wrote in his diary that he was bored in Minsk.

Kristina Bugaenko, the guide:
According to the official version, Oswald shot Kennedy alone, after which he was arrested, but during the transfer from one prison to another, Oswald was shot by a man from the crowd.


Albert Einstein