Siege of Leningrad

Amanda Gerrish


The horrific, almost two year lasting siege of Leningrad with 1,000,000 estimated residences dead. Beginning on September 8, 1941, hunger and the bitter winter became the biggest enemies. Being fed 1/3 of the required portion amount each day and limited clothes and blankets. Anna Andreieva, the manager of the Astoria Hotel stated that it was almost like pure hell. Something to have to "get used to" was stepping over dead bodies, everywhere. Whether it was on the stairs or in the streets. People used to go insane with hunger. They gave people who were starving vitamins to try and make them more alive but i was no use. By the time they were in there, they were very close to death. The survivors state that they could only walk a few hundred kilometers and they would have to sit and break. When the food rations became much lower, dogs, cats, crows and other animals became a main source of food, along with cannibalism. Along with the German attacks of artillery attacks and bombardments, many residents were found dead along streets, parks and open areas. 11,000 people found dead in November taking an extensive increase to 53,000 n December. The one positive effect the brutal winter had was, Lake Ladoga froze over allowing trucks to come with food supplies also allowing the food rations to go up. January 1944, the city was finally celebrating the end of the siege of Leningrad.


Journal #1: Hardships or Hunger

According to the City of Thieves, they which include Lev, Vera and the twins consumed items like pigeons, family pets and things like library candy. Pigeons started going missing and rumors about family pets like dogs and cats were told about families roasting them and eating them. It was harder for people to kill dogs and cats rather than it was to kill pigeons. (pg.7) It was hard to cope with hunger and most people died from starvation because of the ration amount given to them. Many people were suffering because of starvation and were not capable of doing much, they did not have the energy to. Winter was very brutal although, the positive thing they could look at with winter was they didn't have a problem with dehydration because they could let the snow melt in their mouths. The ration of food was cut 1/3 from the needed amount. Lev and Kolya were suffering on their task to get eggs. Lev could barely moves his legs but somehow he got the motivation too. Starvation was theyŕe worst enemy.

City of St. Petersburg also known as Piter

Journal #2- Emotional & Physical Challenges

Playing chess with Abendroth put a huge emotional scar on Lev. Lev started this journey as almost a little boy. He was not mature nor was he really ready for the task he was put up against. Lev went into this and faced a lot of challenges that emotionally scared him. As he was playing chess with Abernoth, Lev pulled out his knife and killed Abernoth. He went into this task never killing anyone and now, he has a guilt. The sheepdog crying and howling in the distance, Lev could not bare to see it suffer. To put the dog out of it's misery, they slit it's throat making it die faster. Lev has a big love of dogs and for him to have to watch the dog suffer in the woods and to hear the sounds of it cry, it put an emotional scar on him.

Lev suffered through physical challenges on the task to get eggs. He has been very limited on food and he has been walking and is very exhausted from the trip. This is putting a physical scar on him because he is getting weaker and weaker and he is practically suffering from starvation. The killing of Abernoth also put an emotional scar on him because he had to get the mental stability to kill him. This is leaving a physical scar on him because he has to live with killing someone, although he was planning to keep Kolya and Vika, he did it to save his friends.

Journal #3- Essential Question

What role does War play in creating and destroying identities?

Abendroth states: ¨Do not bother. You passed Kueferś test, good I respect that. You are survivors, But I am not a stupid man. One of you is a Jew posing as a Gentile; one is a girl posing as a boy; all of you, I assume, are all literates posing as illiterate. And despite the attentions of our vigilant mountain rangers and the esteemed Obersturmfuhrer Kuefer, all these ruses have succeeded" -Exerpt from City of Thieves, page 221

War change identities, especially Jewish people. Jews changed their identities because they were being hunted down the most by Germans. A way to have a better way of surviving is by changing your identity. Lev has been imposing as a Gentile to have a better way of surviving and he has gotten this far. If he has said he was a Jew, he would not have made it as far as he did. Throughout the war, everyone has been experiencing the worst times of their lives and they could not do really anything about it. The Germans were just killing out the Jews and they couldn't stop them from it. The only way they could escape death is by changing their identities and by that they destroy them. The war destroyed identities because they could not be caught as Jews. If they were, they would be killed or they would be suffering even worse than they already are. On their task, they have gotten at least a little bit of food, but if they had been captured, they would have gotten even less food and they would have died from starvation and not have had such a big chance.