The Siege of Leningrad
The siege of Leningrad was an almost 2 and a half years long and was the Germans trying to take St. Petersburg (also know as Piter back then) from the Russians. The Germans were attempting to starve out the Russians by cutting off their supply lines. After 2 months the citizens were forced to take 1/3 of the rations required to sustain a grown adult. The bitter Russian winter cold was killer to the people, especially when they ran out of coal and oil. The cold did allow the Russians to transport minimal amount of resources across Lake Ladoga. The bombing was a horrible part about the whole siege because it killed so many people. Overall the siege killed an estimated 1,000,000 people overall. Anna Andreievna who was the manager of the Astoria hotel was an eyewitness to the events and she said, the whole town was starving to the point where the streets were cluttered with bodies so you would have to step over them all. Major Lozak described the way he could tell that people would die in the next 24 hours just by looking at their face.
The Russian winter was harsh to the survival to the people from Piter. The cold forced the people to burn everything and anything to stay warm and survive. The town ended up being striped apart to warm the people and keep them alive.
With the hunger plaguing the people it was only a matter of time until the people started to eat each other. With the amount of ration bread equaling to the picture above you would become quite hungry. The cannibals ate other people by luring them into their homes for one reason or another and killing and then eating them.
The German planes bombing the city made life extremely rough for them. The bombs killed tons of people and destroyed many buildings, costing lots of money to rebuild. The bombs also destroyed the food supply if the bombs hit the food storage.
Journal #1: Hardships or Hunger
City of St. Petersburg also known as Piter
Before the War
Before the war they wasted food and took advantage of the food that they had, leaving large crumbs or fat on the plate (pg 7).
During the War
The cold was so intense that they burned every extra scrap of wood to stay warm (pg 7). The city was bombed so intensely for so many months that they were able to tell the difference in engine sounds in planes (pg 10).
The Russians awarded the people who survived the siege by putting one of their names on a wall for fame and glory (pg 256).
Before the War
During the War
Journal #2 - Emotional & physical Challenges
The City of Thieves is full of emotional and physical challenges throughout the book. The places with the most challenges are the story of the sheep dog, Zoya's story, and playing chess with Abendroth. A physical challenge is when something is making doing something a lot harder, usually involving the elements. A emotional challenge is when the challenge makes you use mental power to solve the problem. We as humans face these two types of problems every day.
The book was filled with many physical and emotional challenges. The story of the sheep dogs was about how people would starve dogs and teach them that there is food under tanks and then strap bombs to them. An emotional challenge of this story was that the dogs were being used for warfare. A physical difficulty was seeing that sight and trying not to puke or faint. Zoya's story was about a girl who was being raped so she ran away and they caught her and cut off her feet to prove a point. The emotional challenge was sitting with the girl's friends and listening to them recalling the event. The physical challenge was that they were extremely fatigued and were incredibly cold as well. Playing chess with Abendroth was the final noteworthy set of problems. The physical challenge was trying to play a good chess game while cold and hungry. The emotional problem was that Lev was about to kill a man.
Emotional and physical challenges are just part of life and we all have to deal with them. Challenges further ourselves by teaching us valuable life lessons for later on. Without challenges life today wouldn't be nearly as far as it is now because no one was ever forced to do better to overcome a challenge. Lev was forced to overcome challenges to become a man by the end of the book.
Journal #3 - Essential Questions
War destroys all of the humanity from inside of us and changes us all, even the best of us. War changes people because we lose track of what is right or wrong causing us to do horrible things. While some do horrible things the others are forced to hide their identity from others to try and protect themselves. Abernoth understands why Lev, Vika, and Kyola hid their true identity, and that was to survive (pg 221). As humans we have a very destructive way of life, and sometimes in this destruction we lose sight into who people actually are. In war national identities are made to protect the people living under these identities, and they are destroyed when the people get out of control. Without war everyone would know who and what people are but because of war some have to hide their true identity.