The square was named for Feliks Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky (1877-1926), who founded Lenin's secret police (the Ch.K., pronounced "Cheka") in 1917. Since then, the Cheka has gone through various name changes, eg Cheka, V.Ch.K, GPU, OGPU, NKVD, MGB, and KGB, though employees were always happy to refer to themselves as "Chekists." Russia's post-Soviet successor-organization is called the FSB ("Federal'naya Sluzhba Bezopasnosti" -- "Federal Security Service").
Since the collapse of the USSR in August 1991, the square has reverted to its original pre-Soviet name, "Lubyanka." The police headquarters (which also served as a notorious political prison) had always, informally, kept the historical name "Lubyanka."
The dark blur in the middle is a statue of F. Dzerzhinsky, removed soon after the Soviet collapse. Along with several other Soviet-era statues, it can still be seen in the "Park Isskustv," about 1 kilometer upstream (SSW) of the Kremlin.
Source: "Ogonyok" 1936, #30, p. 3. Caption: "First anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution in Moscow" (a public celebration).
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Does anyone have a 1936 photo of this area?
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