Siege of Leningrad

Cam Gosselin

Background

The siege of Leningrad began on September 8, 1941 as a part to rush to Moscow and Germany violating the Soviet non aggression pact. The Germans encircled the city cutting off food supplies. Food rations were cut to a third of what an adult should have. According to Anna Adreievna she was too weak to walk because the lack of food, if she did walk they had to take breaks. In addition people were dying everywhere, the residents had to walk over bodies in the street. In the city food was very scarce, Major Lozak had to give his parents part of his officers ration because they were old, but he also needed the food. Once the Russian winter came into effect it did bring one positive trait, lake Ladoga froze which allowed trucks to bring food into Leningrad.

Hardships

Journal # 1: Hunger

During the siege Vera cut half an onion for them to eat, eating things not particularly considered a "meal"."Vera had found half an onion somewhere; she cut it into four pieces on a plate smeared with sunflower oil" (pg 11). Also they ate bread that did not taste like bread, the Germans bombed the grain factories. "When the onion was gone, we mopped the oil with our ration bread" (pg 11). They we're so hungry they were forced to eat the only thing remotely close to a meal because their hunger was so extreme. In addition they had hunted rats as final resort for food because most other food besides their rations was diminishing (pg 11).

City of St. Petersburg also known as Piter

Journal #2- Emotional & Physical Challenges

The emotional and physical challenges were 3 things the sheepdog, Zoya, and playing chess with Abendroth. In the story of the sheepdog, Koyla and Lev come upon a pack of dogs all except one where it can only use its front legs. The Russians were using the dogs to try and blow up German tanks. But this one dog was hurdling threw the snow, and Koyla didn't want him to suffer so he killed it. Zoya the girl at the farmhouse cries and cried because her parents were killed until one day she ran away from the farmhouse and the Germans went after her and found her because she didn't have the physical means to survive out in the snow. Then Aberndoth had eggs Koyla and Lev needed for the colonel and he had to play them in chess to get them.

The physical challenges were Lev playing chess with Aberdnoth because of the tension in the room and he could have killed them any second. Also when they made the move to kill them, earlier in the book he even said "I don't think I could kill him". It took him to perseverance to kill him. Another thing is the dog could barley walk around, only his front two legs were operational, it was hard in the snow. In addition Zoya didn't have the physical means of surviving when she ran away from the farmhouse. She couldn't fend for herself so she pretty much quit while the German came for her. The emotional challenges were especially tragic for Koyla and the sheepdog. Koyla has a admiration for dogs, he has even written a poem about the courtyard hound, when he dies and is so attached to it he buries it when he hasn't been out of his apartment for years. When he see the sheepdog he feels really bad for it and killed it with Lev's knife. In addition was killing a human being, he said before he didn't know how he was going to kill him. Also for Zoya when she has to watch her feet get cut off and can't really do anything about it, then her friends are made to watch this poor girl get her feet cut off. Then after that they try to stop the bleeding and can't do anything about it and they really tried save her but had to live they couldn't save her.

Lev experienced many physical and emotional challenges that contributed to becoming a man. The physical and emotional challenges contributed to becoming a man because he realized he had to push on and become man when he sees the sheepdog.

Journal #3- Essential Question

The role war plays as creating and destroying national identities is for example; the war caused Lev to become a man and go away from his adolescent days. Also it creates the Soviet Union, it brought Russia together. An experience that one person experiences might have changed their identity. It changed Koyla's identity because he was killed in the horrors of war, friendly fire, him getting shot changed him forever. The war also changed Russia as a whole together because after the war they became the Soviet Union. In addition one experience might change someone prospective of life, or like food how before the may waste food but now they would most likely be conservative about it because of the amount of shortage in Leningrad.