Tragedy of A City Under Siege, 1941-44Book - 2011
This is the story of the siege of Leningrad, the deadliest blockade of a city in human history. Between September 1941 and January 1944, during which time the city was besieged by Nazi Germany, approximately three quarters of a million civilians starved to death: 35 times more civilians died than in London's Blitz; four times more than in the bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima put together. Had Hitler succeeded in taking Leningrad, he would have had access to the Soviet Union's biggest arms manufacturers, shipyards and steelworks. He could have linked his armies with Finland's, and cut the railway lines carrying Allied aid from the Arctic ports of Archangel and Murmansk. But Leningrad wasn't taken. In Leningrad , the siege's most eloquent victims--the diarists whose voices form the core of this book--convey stories of humanity in extremis and remind us of what it is to be human, of the depths and heights of human behaviour. Voices range from Zhdanov, the CP leader trying to organize defence and supplies for his embattled city, to Tanya Savich, whose heart wrenching diary records the deaths from starvation of her entire family.