Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Siege of Leningrad: A Book Review & A Young Girl's Diary

After reading The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simmons, a historical fiction book about the siege of Leningrad, I was interested in learning more about this time in recent history. I found this Kindle book called The Siege of Leningrad by Rupert Colley which is part of a series called "History in an Hour." It really had some good information in it and was interesting to read.

The Siege of Leningrad: History in an Hour
The Introduction to the story is powerful. I've included several pieces below:
The Fuhrer has decided to wipe the city of Petersbury from the face of the earth. After the defeat of Soviet Russia there is no interest in further existence of this large inhaabited area. - Adolf Hitler
With these words, issued on 22 September 1941, Adolf Hitler effectively sealed Leningrad's fate.
The number of deaths in Leningrad exceeded those who died from the atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined, and constitutes the largest death toll ever recorded in a single city.
While being surrounded for almost 900 days... over one million died... from German bombs or artillery, or from disease, the cold or starvation.... The story of the siege is one of heroic resistance and stoical survival but is also one of unimaginable suffering and extreme deprivation.
After telling about the siege, the author tells about some of the people of the siege. One of them, Tanya Savicheva, was a young girl who kept a diary. She was 12 years old when she started writing in her diary. But, with the intense cold and lack of fuel, her diary became fuel along with their household furniture. Tanya was eventually evacuated in August 1942, but she died of tuberculosis on July 1st, 1944. Her nine surviving diary pages tell of the deaths of her family members:
Zhenya died on Dec. 28th at 12:00 P.M. 1941
Grandma died on Jan. 25th 3:00 P.M. 1942
Leka died on March 5th at 5:00 A.M. 1942
Uncle Vasya died on Apr. 13th at 2:00 after midnight 1942
Uncle Lesha on May 10th at 4:00 P.M. 1942
Mother on May 13th at 7:30 A.M. 1942
Savichevs died.
Everyone died.

Only Tanya is left.

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