Officially named the Children’s Khorovod, literally ‘Children’s Round Dance’, the fountain initially installed in 1939 was one of the symbols of the city formally known as Stalingrad.
The statue of six children dancing around a crocodile became famous worldwide due to several pictures that a Soviet photographer took after the German army’s devastating bombings. The black-and-white snapshots showed children playing happily, with a ruined city in the background.
Witnesses recall numerous bombs hitting the city, making it resemble one huge fire, with burning neighborhoods, streets, ships and even the Volga River.
Amid massive destruction, the fountain survived and stood only partly damaged by shell fragments.