Siege of Leningrad

Kassidy Swift


On September 8, 1941, the siege of Leningrad had begun and it had lasted for 872 days. Germany had completely surrounded the city of Leningrad and by the end of September the city's fuel was very low. It's inhabitants had started to take any wood they could find to burn. There was no food, so people had started to eat family pets, and also anything or anyone they could find. The winter had frozen the city's water pipes and they burst. By November an estimated 11,000 people had died and that number had increased to 53,000 by December.


Journal #1: Hardsips or hunger

According to the City of Thieves, Lev, Vera and the twins consumed items like pigeons, family pets (page 7). Also Lev and Kolya had consumed library candy (pg 52), which was boiling the binding glue from books for some protein. The library candy did not taste very good, but nothing really did and it had only added to the consitapated problems. They also had consumed a chicken soup, after realizing that the chicken that they had was a rooster and would not produce eggs (pg 93). Taking the chicken from the small boy was hard, because they knew he wasn't going to survive. And it was hard for Lev and Kolya also after they found out it was a rooster because it meant more challenging days out in the cold, harsh land of Russia. And with the Germans around it was to stay away from the deadly, ruthless people.

City of St. Petersburg also known as Piter

Journal #2 - Emotional & Physical Challenges

There were many emotional and physical challenges in the book City of Thieves. There are several examples of challenges in the sheepdog scene, the story of Zoya and the great scene of playing chess with the powerful Abernoth. There was a big emotional challenge between Kolya and the sheepdogs. Lev and Kolya both had felt terrible for Zoya and what had happened to her. Lev, Kolya and also Vika had a few physical challenges with playing chess with the infamous Abernoth.

The scene of the sheepdogs was an emotional challenge mostly for Kolya because he had a soft spot for dogs. He had made up a story or novel where a man had fed a dog for a while and had grown attached to the poor dog. After a while the dog had died and the man had finally come outside for the first time in seven years, to bury the dog. Kilts had known that some dogs had been starved and had boxes strapped to them, to blow things up. But when it he had finally saw it, it had affected him deeply. He had the decincy to put the dog out of it's misery. When Lev and Kolya had heard the story of Zoya and how she had her feet cut off because she tried to run away, they couldn't believe that someone could be that cold to a girl, who was just trying to get away from all the terrible people who had done things to her. Playing chess with Abernoth was a big physical challenge mostly for Lev because he is just a scrawny boy, who was already known for being a Jew in front of the cold hearted Abernoth. Abernoth was a lot bigger and stronger than Lev, and if Lev did not win the game, Kolya, Vika and himself could be killed. But the game didn't end because Abernoth caught on to what they were doing and jumped on Lev, almost shooting him and Vika. Lev stabbed him and another soldier that was fighting with Kolya.

Therefore, there were emotional challenges when Kolya and Lev stumbled upon the sheepdogs and had to put one down. Also when they had heard what Abernoth had done to Zoya, which is a big factor of why Lev killed Abernoth himself, after doubting that he could do it. Let alone help Kolya take down the other soldier and made sure that Vika didn't get shot. There were many emotional and physical challenges through out the book City of Thieves.

Journal #3 - Essential Question

There is a role that war plays in creating and destroying national identities. Lev has a new identity as a man, instead of a boy scared of the world. War helped do this, from accepting the challenge to find a dozen eggs (but he really didnt have a choice). To playing chess with the one and only Abernoth. Another contributing factor of war was the cannibals, Lev had finally faced the hungry cannibals that people had talked about. Playing chess with Abernoth had made Lev more of a man because it was a challenge in it's own to decide to kill the leader. But there was also physical challenges because Abernoth was bigger and stronger than him. Without the war happening, Lev would still become a man, but he wouldn't have the knowledge and strength that he has now.