Sunday, July 22, 2018

Personal Reflections: Surviving the Siege of Leningrad (1941-1944)

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Personal Reflections: Surviving the Siege of Leningrad (1941-1944)

On September 9, 1941, the German Wehrmacht severed the last land connection to the city of Leningrad, and the horrific 900-day and night siege of the city had begun. While the Russians managed to open a narrow land corridor to the city in January of 1943, the siege of Leningrad was not totally lifted until a year later, in January of 1944. What transpired during these almost 900 days was one of the most destructive and murderous sieges in modern history. The almost total disruption of utilities, food, water and energy led to the deaths of more that 1 million from starvation, exposure and bombardment. Of the 3.5 million residents of Leningrad before the siege, only 400,000 remained when the siege was lifted. However, in the end, the city held, and the Russian winter offensive of 1944 finally liberated the city and began the process of reversing the German invasion and driving the Wehrmacht Army Group North out of Russia.

But statistics do not begin to tell the story of the heroic human struggle for survival which transpired within the walls of Leningrad during the two and a half year siege. In this unique illustrated presentation, Marina Forbes will offer a powerful and highly personal look at this unprecedented episode in Russian history. Marina's own mother was was a teenager in Leningrad during the siege and worked to remove unexploded shells from the roof of one of the city's major hospitals. She was a survivor of the siege, and for her heroism she was a awarded the Medal for the Defense of Leningrad. Over the past several years, Marina has gathered a unique oral history from her mother and other siege survivors, detailing numerous personal anecdotes and observations about what life was like in Leningrad during the siege.

Copyright 2009-2010 by Marina Forbes
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