Siege of Leningrad

Molly Hood


The siege of Leningrad began on September 8, 1941 when the German troops had encircled the city. Starvation and the cold weather had become the city's worst enemy, oil and coal supplies were just about gone and food supplies were cut. When food rations were cut, animals such as cats and dogs were becoming peoples meals. Corpses started to fill the city because the ground was frozen and the corpses from cannibalism could not be buried. There was only one positive effect from the winter and that is, trucks could drive with food and supplies over the frozen lake, food rations were increased. Big building had turned into hospitals for people who were dying from hunger, it was known as hell. People that were starving had to use canes to help them walk because they could not support the little body weight they had. Walks home for people consisted of stopping and taking breaks every few hundred miles.


Journal #1: Hardships or Hunger

Cannibalism and hunger were big problems in this time period and they became problems when there were ration cards. Ration cards controlled the amount of food distributed to people and it was about 1/3 the amount a person should actually have. People were so hungry that they made things like ration bread, fake bread that was made with anything such as sawdust, and library candy, candy made of paper and books. Most people could not control their appetite and would eat pets and humans (page 7). Kolya gave Lev a piece of greasy and fatty sausage, Lev quickly ate the sausage without a thought and barely tasted it, the sausage went down his throat with a great satisfaction of almost being full again. All of the characters had gone through a time where they were hungry and had thoughts of eating things they wouldn't have a few months before. 1

Journal #2 - Emotional & Physical Challenges

Horrors of War

-List and describe the emotional and physical challenges behind the story of the sheepdog, Zoya, and playing chest with Abendroth.

Some emotional and physical challenges in this time period with Lev and Kolya include the story of the sheepdog, Zoya, and playing chest with Abendroth. All three of these events had emotional and physical challenges on each character.

The story of Zoya was that she was forced into prostitution by German soldiers and was murdered in front of people when she tried to escape. Before she died she was being emotionally scared as well as physically because she was always scared of when she would have to do things unwillingly for men. Lev and Kolya made a bet that if Lev won a game of chess with Abendroth, one of the officers that killed Zoya, Lev, Vika, and Kolya would be set free but Abendroth said only Vika would be set free. So they made a plan to kill him and Lev had some second thoughts about whether or not he was mentally strong enough to kill a man. The story of the sheepdog is when dogs were dyeing because they were trained to blow things up. The dogs didn't ever blow the tanks up because the Germans knew what was happening and had killed them before they reached they're targets. It was basically a suicide mission for dogs but it wasn't they're choice. This mentally hurts the boys because these dogs were just looking for food and a safety zone but they were going to end up dyeing.

The physical challenges of Zoya's story was that her body was being used in a sexual way for other peoples pleasure and she was murdered in front of people. When Lev was put in the situation of killing Abendroth and Lev believed he was not physically strong enough to fight with the man until he was dead. When the boys saw the field of dogs they knew that they needed to help the one that was going on his death walk so Kolya physically cut the dogs throat reminding himself that he was putting the dog out of it's misery.

Journal #3 - Essential Question

Essential Questions

What role does war play in creating and destroying national identities?

They were hiding their identities because in this time period, basically your whole life was determined on what family you were born in. People that were women, Jews, Polish, and especially Polish-Jewish were all treated differently. Germans were against Jewish and Polish-Jews, these people suffered because Germany was responsible for taking care of the World War l problems, such as money, and they believed it was more difficult to do so when there were people that were not "perfect" Germans in the eyes of the Nazis. Lev was Jewish and his father was a poet. Lev had transformed into more of a man as this war went on because he had a sexual and love attraction as well as he had killed a man.

Abernoth states: "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 illiterates. And despite the attentions of our vigilant mountain rangers and the esteemed Obersturmfuher Kuefer, all these ruses have succeeded." - Excerpt from City of Thieves, page 221

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