When the German High Command encircled Leningrad it was a deliberate policy to eradicate the city's civilian population by starving them to death. As winter set in and food supplies dwindled, starvation and panic set in.
A specialist in battle psychology and the vital role of morale in desperate circumstances, Michael Jones tells the human story of Leningrad. Drawing on newly available eyewitness accounts and diaries, he shows Leningrad in its every dimension including taboo truths, long-suppressed by the Soviets, such as looting, criminal gangs and cannibalism.
But, for many ordinary citizens, Leningrad marked the triumph of the human spirit. They drew deeply on their inner resources to inspire, comfort and help one another. At the height of the siege an extraordinary live performance of Shostakovich's Seventh Symphony profoundly strengthened the city's will to resist. When German troops heard it in their trenches one remarked: 'We began to understand we would never take Leningrad.
Yet, Leningrad's self-defence came at a huge price. When the 900-day siege ended in 1944 almost a million people had died and those who survived would be permanently marked by what they had endured, as this superbly insightful and moving history shows.
|Publisher:||Hodder & Stoughton|
|Sold by:||Hachette Digital, Inc.|
|File size:||3 MB|
About the Author
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations ix
List of Maps xi
Bread Rations xxi
'An Almost Scientific Method': The German Advance 11
'The Biggest Bag of Shit in the Army': Attempts to Defend 46
The Butcher's Hook: Ordinary Civilians' Experience 81
The Noose: The Blockade Is Not Broken 109
Elena's Sketchbook: The Emerging Horror 142
The Abortionist: The Onset of Mass Starvation 173
One Black Beret: The Authorities Lose Control 203
The Road of Life: Keeping Hope Alive 220
The Symphony: Finding the Will to Survive 238
Operation Spark: The Military Breakthrough 262
Something Necessary: The Siege is Lifted 277
What People are Saying About This
The Herald (Glasgow), May 17, 2007
“Jones charts the journey through moral and physical nightmare via the recollections of some who clung doggedly to life and from the diaries of many who did not see the end of the torment. It is a powerful narrative, evoking images of a descent into chaos few who had not experienced it could possibly imagine….Jones's gripping account is a tribute to the resilience of the human spirit in circumstances where it might easily have been overwhelmed, not by German firepower, but by sheer horror.” The Historian “Leningrad: State of Siege makes for compelling reading, and it is recommended to anyone who wants a better understanding of the human, and all too often tragic, dimension of the experience of ordinary people who lived in Leningrad and indeed much of Europe during the Second World War.”