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Entries / Siege of 1941-44

Siege of 1941-44

Categories / Army. Navy/Blokade

SIEGE of 1941-44, siege of Leningrad by German troops, from 8 September 1941 until 27 January 1944, during the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1944; the most tragic chapter in the city's history. As soon as German troops approached Lake Ladoga in the area of Schlisselburg-Lipka, and after Finnish troops occupied the main part of the Karelian Isthmus, Leningrad lost land communication with the rest of the country. At that moment, 2.887.000 people found themselves besieged in Leningrad in September 1941, with only 30-60 days of food reserves and an acute fuel shortage. Up to 1.000.000 people were evacuated from Leningrad from 1941 to 1943. Until January 1943, the city was supplied only by the so-called "Road of Life" on Lake Ladoga, but supplies were very insufficient until April 1942. From October 1941 to March 1942, food allocations were not sufficient to survive; one would often spend hours in a queue to get nothing but a piece of bread, of which two thirds was dirt. Famine began (see Famine of 1941-42), and a lack of heating and electricity aggravated people's miseries in winter weather (down to -26 ° С). Water pipes and sewage systems broke down, public transport stopped running, and the city was regularly exposed to air raids and artillery bombardments. This resulted in large scale casualties among the civilian population, and lasted from mid-November 1941 until summer 1942. In winter 1941-42, only 18 industrial plants were working to capacity, class was being held (with interruption) at 39 schools, and all but a few public service institutions were closed. Emergency measures taken by authorities against this disastrous state included using non-edible products as food, building a network of in-patient stations and service teams, and dismantling 9.000 wooden houses for fuel, but everything failed to improve the situation. Plants (840) and residential-buildings (3.200) were completely destroyed; most residential, industrial, and other types of buildings were damaged during the Siege of Leningrad. The number of Siege victims is not exactly known, but rough estimates show that between 800.000 and 1.500.000 people either died of hunger or were killed during bombardments (the main mass grave site is the Piskarevskoe Memorial Cemetery). In January 1943, the Siege was lifted (see Siege, Lifting of); Soviet troops occupied a band of land 4-11 km wide along the southern side of Lake Ladoga. The "Road of Victory" built on that band linked Leningrad to the rest of the continent. In January 1944, the Siege was completely lifted (see Siege, Lifting of); German troops were driven back 50-70 km from Leningrad. In 1989, a medallion was instituted "To the Citizens of Besieged Leningrad". See map on page 98.

References: Буров А. В. Блокада день за днем, 22 июня 1941 г.-27 января 1944 г. Л., 1979; Адамович А. М., Гранин Д. А. Блокадная книга. Л., 1989; Мелуа А. И. Блокада Ленинграда: Энцикл. СПб., 1999; Магаева С. В. Ленинградская блокада: Психосоматич. аспекты. М., 2001; Ломагин Н. А. Неизвестная блокада: В 2 кн. СПб.; М., 2002; Страна - Ленинграду, 1941-1945: Сб. док. СПб.; Кишинев, 2002.

G. V. Kalashnikov.

Granin Daniil Alexandrovich

Буров А. В. Блокада день за днем, 22 июня 1941 г. - 27 января 1944 г. Л., 1979
Адамович А. М., Гранин Д. А. Блокадная книга. Л., 1989
Мелуа А. И. Блокада Ленинграда: Энцикл. СПб., 1999

The subject Index
Road of Life
Famine of 1941-42
Breaking of the Siege (1943)
Road of Victory
Lifting of the Siege, 1944



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Yatsevich A.G. (1887-1942), Regional Ethnographer

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Yudina M.V. (1899-1970), pianist

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