Siege of Leningrad

Jesse King

Background

The Siege of Leningrad lasted 872 days. The city was encircled by the Germans. Fuel supplies ran out first this caused the city to have no heat and winter to be a great struggle for the people. Food then started to run out because of the warehouses being bombed. People had to find different sources of food such as zoo animals, pets, books, and even other people, Anna Andreievna dropped from 70 kilos to 40 kilos. Constant bombing caused many land marks and buildings to be destroyed. A black market popped up because of low police enforcement and businesses having closed. With all the death there were corpses in piles and on the street and when they were buried they did not have coffins says staff members of the Architect Institute. Overall the city became ruled by mostly the people with very little law enforcement and was mostly every man for themselves.

Hardships

Journal#1: Hardships or Hunger

According to the City of Thieves, Lev, Vera, and the twins people consumed items like pigeons, family pets (page 7), this was only one of the many ways the dealt with hunger. Another thing people ate was library candy. "made from tearing of the covers of books, peeling off the binding glue, boiling it down, and reforming it into bars you could wrap in paper."(page 52) People would also resort to cannibalism.(page 59) Other hardships the people of Lenningrad had to face were Natiz's, police patrols, keeping warm,and finding shelter.

City of St. Petersburg also known as Piter

Journal #2 - Emotional & Physical Challenges

Horrors of war

War presents many emotional and physical challenges. Emotional challenges don't show on the outside but are still there and are hard on your mind. One emotional challenge is seeing your friend die in war and not being able to do anything about it. Another emotional challenge is having to kill someone you feel you should not kill because of personal reasons. Emotional challenges range from person to person but mainly put your feelings of right and wrong into check. The other form of challenge is a physical challenge. This is a challenge that affects a person on the outside or physically. Weather might be a physical challenge. Another physical challenge could be getting shot. War is such a great event that it poses both physical and emotional challenges, but these challenges are also present in other situations.


The story of the sheep dog, having to watch Zoya have her feet cut off, and playing chess with Abendroth all presented emotional and physical challenges. The story of the sheep dog presented a large emotional challenge to Kolya. Kalya has a love for animals so seeing one be killed and not have anything accomplished by it hurt him deeply.(Page 111 and 112) The sheep dogs also caused Kolya and Lev to lose time and have to walk faster, essentially a physical challenge.(Page 112) Seeing Zoya having her feet cut off caused many challenges for the girls who lived in the cabin with her. The first challenge was losing their coats and boots because the Germans did not want them to run away too. This caused them to be very cold later on in the book when they actually had to run away because Vera and her men had shot many Germans visiting.(Page 159) The emotional challenge was a lot bigger. The girls had to watch their friend get her feet cut off and were not able to do anything about it. After that they had to try to help her live even though it was clear that she was not going to survive.(Page 132 and 133) Both of the challenge were hard, but the worst of the two had to be the emotional challenge because the images will stick with the girls forever. Playing chess with Abendroth also had emotional and physical challenges. The biggest emotional challenge was felt by Lev. Lev had to choose if he would kill Abendroth, this was a hard choice because Lev had never killed anyone before. Lev also had the lives of his friends in his hands and it weighed heavily on his conscience.(Page 228 and 229) Playing chess with Abendroth also caused Lev to lose a finger in the fight after the game.(Page 232) This is a physical challenge that Lev would have for the rest of his life.


Overall war brings many challenges, both physical and mental. The book City of Thieves was about a war so there were many challenges in it. Many of the people in the book were not soldiers. This book proves that war leaves scars and challenges on more then just to soldiers of a land. Citizens are also affected. Overall war is horrible thing that hurts everyone involved in or around the fighting.

Journal #3 - Essential Question

War plays a large role in destroying and creating a persons identity. This could also be know as changing a person's identity and it happens to many of the key characters in the book City of Thieves. Lev is the main character and was vastly changed by war. In his first real encounter with danger he runs away from the cannibals when Koyla tells him to. Lev feels like a coward, but did not want to go back into the fight.(Page 60) Later in the book after Lev has been shaped by war he jumps to protect Koyla and kills a man doing it.(Page 231) War didn't change Lev into a coldblooded killer, but instead caused him to change into more of a man and stand up and protect himself and his friends, war took the fear out of Lev. Kolya was changed by war from being a fun loving joking writer who thought he was going to be a hero down to feeling what it is like to be a regular person. He feels this a lot when he realizes his death will not be grand.(251) Vika was changed the most by war. During this time period woman would normally grow up and take care of kids and cook and clean. When the NKVD became part of Vika's life all of this changed and she became one of the most deadly snipers in the world.(Page 207 and 208) Overall war changes people in many ways but I think it brings many closer to their instincts because they have survive so their survival instinct becomes stronger the longer they are in danger because of a war.