• Kester Eddy

A Classical Hungarian? CEE? City Square - but Where? UPDATED

Updated: Apr 12

GuesterTester68 - I've been sitting on this pic for 15 months - only now decided to run it.

Photo: Sent to me by super-sleuth John Cantwell. I've been to this location - 'twas November, 1995 - but admit I'd be hard pushed to identify the place 27 years later.

Apologies for lack of blog activity of late - travel and working on stories (election coming up, of course) has taken a lot of time. I've finally got round to using John's pic as a tester - I think it's probably quite difficult for most regular readers, so I may well have to post another clue or two next week, depending on the answers coming in - or not. (The difficulty is finding a clue that doesn't make it too easy, of course.*)

The place certainly comes up in the history books of the region, sometimes not for the best of reasons.

As usual, your ideas welcome via the website messaging system or an email - the chance to win global fame and buy me two beers is surely a phenomenal motivator!

* OK, I've thought of one now - I'll post it on Monday around noon if you need help.

Meanwhile, I'm still open for entries for KT67 - I've got a few, but would like to enhance the competition! Have a great weekend!

UPDATE - CLUES Batch1 - Well, in truth, I don't know a great deal about this location, and what I do know would make it all too easy, so I'll have to rely on the Wikipedia entry. This would indicate that the place has, in the last four decades or so, produced a number of sports stars (certainly at the national level), including three female tennis players.

It was also the birthplace of one infamous Nazi leader, at least in these parts, who met his comeuppance via, I suspect, a peoples' court after WW2. (Ha! I've just checked, by coincidence, he fell from power on this very day, 28 March, 1945.)

The population more or less tripled between 1961 and 1991. And, as far as I know, ie it's not in Wikipedia, the river running through the place has been, historically, quite polluted because of mining - although that's probably all ceased now.

There's a few clues that might need thinking about to be useful, but they are clues. Honest :)

UPDATE CLUES Batch2: This is proving a tough one for readers, although I'm sure most know of this location, even if you've not been there. So, here's a few more snippets. As I wrote above, the population more than tripled in 30 years. One reason for this is the establishment of a large industrial complex just outside the city. (This also had a major impact on the ethnic mix of the original population.) The majority of this industrial complex is now owned by an American company.

A mysterious (and still-unsolved) military attack at this location in the last century formed the pretext for a major turning point - at least for the CEE region - in one of the epoch's global conflicts.

In WW2, this location was a major transport hub, with hundreds of thousands of Jews passing through on their last ever journey, en route to their murder in Auschwitz.

Now that's a lot of clues there - no more! I'll post the results in here on Monday.

UPDATE 3: The Results

​ This tester attracted but few entrants initially, the chief exception being Hubert “Poirot” Warsmann, who replied within minutes of the photo going up. “Easy one (those famous last words)," he wrote, "this is the memorial to the 1709-10 plague epidemic in Kosice-Kassa. It is supposed to have been erected on the site of the medieval gallows. Not quite as imposing as the Vienna or Prague equivalents, but pretty impressive tribute nevertheless for a city of that size.”

Sleuthess-in-the-making Annabel Barber soon followed up with a curt: “Košice. Trinity/Plague monument.” Steven Nelson came in a bit later: “Kosice,”, but then confessed, “I cheated.” He didn't reveal how, maybe he's got access to some secret CIA software or something, but anyway, that was it for quite some time until I took pity on you all and posted some more clues.

That generosity on my part triggered a veritable phalanx of replies, headed by Mr David Thompson.

“I haven’t been there but it has to be the Plague Memorial in Kosice, based on your clue: "A mysterious (and still-unsolved) military attack at this location in the last century formed the pretext for a major turning point - at least for the CEE region - in one of the epoch's global conflicts.” Not long after, and up Tom chimes in with; “It's Kosice (Kassa). I Googled "slovakia baroque column main square" and up it popped. I've never been there.” Next, Benedicte Williams swanned in: “KT68: If "mysterious (and still-unsolved) military attack at this location in the last century formed the pretext for a major turning point - at least for the CEE region - in one of the epoch's global conflicts", then "Košice",” he wrote. Next in line was David McCall, all the way from Tillamook, Oregon. The pic is taken in Kassa/Kosice. Interesting city, constantly undergoing significant changes. (The significant railway clue gave it away for me),” he confessed. Finally, as curt as can be, Des McGrath had a go: “Kosice/Kassa dd.” (dd? Actually, that might have been my own shaking fingers adding the dd by accident.) So, eight entrants battling in hope for global fame and glory, all with (essentially) the same answer - Košice (in Slovakian), which is variously named in other regional languages, not least Kassa in Hungaian. It's the main city in the east of the country. That “military attack”, by the way, was a mysterious air raid on the city in June, 1941, which the Hungarian government (then in control of the city after the First Vienna Award of 1938) used as a pretext to, of all things, declare war on the Soviet Union. Talk about a big mistake … but that's for another time. It looks as if David McCall knew that Košice was the last major station before trains carrying Jews to Auschwitz stopped prior to leaving Hungarian controlled territory in 1944. But to the matter you are all here for now, ie the European Union-approved Black Woolly Draw Hat and all the eight numbers what go in it as contestants wait with baited breath in anticipation of the global fame and celebrity status that could await them. And the winner is …. number 6 – Benedicte Williams, who must now be ready to take me round the Dreher Brewery as a result of her sleuth status! Thanks to everyone who competed, to John Cantwell for the piccie and special mention to the first three, who can claim some sort of moral superiority on the grounds of getting the right answer before my generous clues were later given. Now, KT69 is up there and awaiting your entries .... he results

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