This Friday, 27th January, is the anniversary of the lifting of the 900 day Blockade of Leningrad, from 1941 to 1944.
The Christmas and New Year decorations have been removed in Nevsky Prospekt, and replaced with signs recalling the seige.
One version of Hitler’s aims in attacking Leningrad is that he did not want to occupy the city, because he would then be responsible for feeding the population. Therefore he blockaded the city, with the intention of starving the population out, and he then planned to destroy the city. He did give orders to his generals not to accept any offers of surrender from the city.
In the words of a newspaper article in the LA Times in 1994,
“Three million people endured the 900 day blockade, which was lifted 50 years ago today. A million or more died, mostly civilians felled by hunger and cold. That’s 10 times the number of deaths caused by the bombing of Hiroshima, and about equal to the number of American military deaths, on and off the battlefield, in all US wars.”