Siege of Leningrad
The Siege of Leningrad was a horrific two and a half year strategy made by Hitler that cost the lives of an estimated 1 million people. The people of Leningrad suffered from starvation, cannibalism, constant bombardment, and the cold winters. The city's food supply was cut and the grounds became frozen in the winter so the dead couldn't be buried. The siege came to an end after the lake froze over and the Russian army helped the people of Leningrad and stabilized their situation. "Some people went quite insane with hunger." "The hotels were turned into hospitals. You would step over corpses in the streets." (Anna Andreievna, the manager of the hotel) A lot of people stopped shaving. Major Lozak in the Soviet Army was a man during the siege that gave his ration card and food to the old people. He had little to ate and tried to help people. The Siege of Leningrad was a dark time in these peoples lives.
Leningrad was constantly being bombarded with air and artillery attacks. "Warning, this side of the street is the most dangerous during the bombing" (pg. 42) "Now aswe sped down the dark street, swerving to avoid bomb craters and sprays of ruble...:" (pg. 17)
Cannibalism and Starvation
The supply of food was shortened in Leningrad and people were hungry. The food and animals died off quickly and people starting eating others to survive. (You have never been more hungry..." (pg 7)
Winters grew longer and colder. The ground froze over so the dead couldn't be buried in the ground instead they were left in the streets. The pipes froze and broke cutting off the supply of water. "You have never been so cold..." (pg. 7)
Cannibalism and Starvation
Journal #1 Hardships or Hunger
According to the City of Thieves, they which included Lev, Vera, and the twins consumed items like pigeons, family pets (page 7), example and page #
In Leningrad, people were starving. The food supply was cut and people were dying. Pets became meals and animals were also dying off. "The people of Leningrad didn't mind slaughtering pigeons"(pg. 7) "People said that the fat would live longer because they had more meat on them. Others argued that the skinnier people would survive the longest because they are more used to eating less." (pg. 9)People scavenged for food to eat but in the end people became monsters and started to make meals of each other. Cannibals roamed the streets and the city fell apart. Those who managed o keep their humanity ate off of library candy like Lev, Vera, and the twins. They would have ration cards and eat bread and sawdust to survive.
Before the War
Before the Siege, people were had food, money, and safety. "All that buttered bread, the potato dumplings, the sausages - eaten with disregard, swallowing without tasting, leaving great crumbs on our plates, scraps of fat. " (pg 1) Before the war began eleven hundred people lived in Kirov.
During the War
During the siege people lost their lives and their homes. People were dying of hunger and cannibalism the cities were bombed and people lived in fear. "we thought we were poor, but June seemed like paradise by winter..."(pg. 8) By the winter there were only about four hundred people living in Kirov. Most children evacuated but some stayed behind and hundreds died.
After the War
On the night of January 27, 1944 fireworks lit up the sky as the siege came to an end. "Kirov did not collapse until hours after the bombs struck... there was little to say." (pg. 256) People returned to their broken cities with little left.
Before the War
During the War
Journal #2 - Emotional & Physical Challenges
There were physical and emotional challenges throughout the siege of Leningrad and the story with Lev and Kolya. Emotional challenges make it harder to go through ones day and can change a way a person feels or thinks. They include depression, survivors guilt, fear, death and more. Physical challenges can be like pain and hunger. When someone is falling behind or cant do something because of a disability this can be a physical challenge. Lev and Kolya experience all kinds of challenges throughout the book.
The story behind the sheepdog was an emotional challenge for Lev and Kolya. The sheepdogs were put in a mine field to blow up the mines to clear a path but instead were shot and killed. Lev and Kolya heard howling from a distance only to fins a sheepdog bleeding to death trying to keep move. Kolya walked up to the injured sheepdog and put it out of its misery. It was an emotional challenge because the sheepdog had survived the attack but struggled to continue. Death was everywhere at this time, even for the innocent and defenseless sheepdogs (pg. 111-112).
Lev and Kolya go to a cabin where the find a bunch of young women being held. The girls tell a story about a girl named Zoya who was the Germans favorite girl to rape almost everything. Zoya ran away from the cabin and when the Germans found her she was weak and the tortured to death. This was an emotional and physical challenge because she was tortured and the girls were being assaulted. This was an emotional scar because a poor innocent girl was killed and the other girls in the cabin did nothing but watch Zoya get hurt (pg. 132-133).
Kolya made a bet with Abendroth that if Lev wins the chess match, Lev, Vika and himself could be free and have a dozen eggs. The pressure of losing was an emotional and physical challenge as any move he made could change his life. In the end, Lev beat Abendroth and kills him with the knife he had in his but and loses a finger in the process. Lev grew up a little bit as before he wouldn't hurt anyone now killed a man and showed courage and bravery to fight back. (pg. 230-231)
Journal #3 - Essential Question
" Don't bother. You passed Kuefer's 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 literates posing as illiterate. And despite the attentions of our vigilant mountain rangers and the esteemed Obersturfurhere Kuefer, all of these ruses have succeeded" - Excerpt from the City of Thieves, page 221
In the war at this time, you were either considered strong or weak. There was no in between. some people had to pretend to be people they weren't to survive at this time. Vika for example, was a girl who posed as a boy to survive because most women are considered weak. So in order to survive she she uses her skills as a sniper and disguises herself as a soldier. Lev for example is a Jewish boy pretending to be a normal German citizen. War changes someone and if one acts like their selves they might as well end up dead. Kolya was called a wanderer as he explored and was a traitor. He fit into society though and acted as if he were no different. Each of them uses their skills and talents but hide their faces.