Siege of Leningrad

Demitri Otis


The brutal siege of Leningrad lasted 872 days and consisted of starvation, a harsh winter and constant bombardment. Leningrad soon ran out of food and famine spread throughout the city. Winter came and anything that could be burned was burned and used for heat. New types of food appeared on the dinner table animals, glue also known as library candy, and even humans themselves. When winter came the freezing of Lake Ladoga which provided an escape for the elderly and a supply route for Leningrad. Rations were lowered, the rations were just a piece of bread filled with sawdust. According to one officer Major Lozak the famine was horrible. Lozak could recall walking a three kilometer to work everyday, on one of his daily strolls to work Lozak encountered a starved resident who fell and died in front of him. Lozak knew it was right that the residents of Leningrad did not get as many grams of bread as the men on the front lines. Another citizen of Leningrad, Anna Andreievna a manger of the old Astoria hotel recalled the quite insane famine. The old Astoria which now looks like a hotel was used as a hospital in the 872 day siege. Many committed to the Astoria hotel were given vitamin tablets but died of hunger. The people of Leningrad were so hungry they even ate their own ration cards.


Journal #1 Hardships or Hunger

The pigeons that were caught were stewed and served as food. The people of Leningrad could not feed their pets so the pets fed them(page 7). Lev heard rumors during October that families were eating their dogs but thought it was a joke(page 7). When the people of Leningrad ran out of every type of food there was always salt which had an endless supply(Page 7). Lev experienced cannibalism when Koyla decided to enter an apartment looking for eggs which turned out to be a cannibal lair(page 59). Leningrad was so starved that when Lev found out that the chicken was a male Sonya roasted the rooster into stew(page 93). Lev and Koyla were willing to set out to find eggs because Colonel Grechko took their ration cards(page 37). Dogs and cats were roasted and split between family's as a source of food(page 7).To deal with this hunger the army gave out rations of 250 milligrams of bread to the citizens. Also to combat this famine people of Leningrad ate anything that was alive. Junker planes bombed the city of Leningrad and had dog fights with Sukhois. Lev watched the dogfights above the Kirov between the Junkers and Sukhois(page 10&11). Junkers that were not destroyed bombed buildings in Leningrad below. Many buildings and streets were ravaged during these air raids. Freezing weather caused many flammable objects to be burned and used as fuel. The winter caused many Leningrad's citizens to freeze to death. Lev and Koyla saw a frozen Red Army soldier because of the cold and needed a place to stay or risk the same fate as the soldier(page 117) The cold caused snow which blocked many of the roads so normal life was more difficult.

City of St. Petersburg also known as Piter

Journal #2 - Emotional and physical challeneges

Horrors of War

Koyla loves dogs to death and gets very sentimental when he sees a dog in pain. When Koyla sees the field of dogs used as mines to blow up tanks he is devastated emotionally. Koyla loves dogs and writes a book called the courtyard hound. Physically Koyla must finally kill the dog which is already a hard task because emotionally he loves dogs(page 111).

The story of Zoya does not affect Koyla as much as it does Lev. Lev is horrified of anybody getting killed and is scared of dying. Lev emotionally has to think about Zoya every single night and how she was mutilated(page 132). After Lev hears the story about Zoya he gets scared of German soldiers because he wants to live.

Playing chess with Abendroth was very hard for Lev knowing at any moment he would have to kill him. Lev was scared because he had never killed any prior to the moment. Lev was a very good chess play but did not want to lose because he feared for his friends lives. Lev was very small compared to the huge muscular Abendroth and Lev did not have a weapon he only had a knife. Lev could have died because of Abendroth holding him down but mustered enough strength to put the Germans knife into him. While playing chess he knew that if he lost Koyla would be shot dead right there and would not let them happen.

Journal #3 - Essential Question

Essential Question

Lev is a Jew and the Germans and Russians hated Jews in ww2. To stay alive Lev has to convince everybody he meets that he is not a Jew or else end up dead. Lev can no longer live under the identity of a Jew and must make himself a different person. When Abendroth finds out he is a Jew he says he must kill Lev. Vika a female sniper who used to attend a college turns into a tomboy during the siege of Leningrad. Vika changes from a girl lifestyle to a expert sniper killing Germans. Vika can no longer go to college or do normal things and must fight against the German invaders. Lev can read and write because of parents. Koyla can read and write and is very literate and writes his own book called the courtyard hound. Vika knows how to read and write because she attended a short time at college. All of the characters must say they are illiterates or get shot and are actually very literate. To live during this time period everybody in Leningrad must change who they are to survive.