Leningrad during the blockade

For Me the Blockade has Ended

My aunt Khasya barged into the apartment crying, telling us that while her son was standing in line, all of his ration cards had been stolen. This meant certain death. I then got a lesson that I have remembered all my life. My father rose up as best he could on the bed and turned to my mother: "Share with my sister." These were his last words. My mother...

8 Октябрь 2016| Shteinbok Efrem translated by Wolfman Philip

January 1943 – The End of the Siege

Our house was a place of communication between lost friends and relatives. Many people found each other with our help. My husband’s friend Vladimir Konokotin, a sapper, was injured during the Synyavinskiy Heights Battle and was sent to a hospital on Poklonnaya Hill. After his recovery he came and left us his details, because his house was destroyed, and...

22 Ноябрь 2015| Grigoryeva-Rudykovskaya Tatyana translated by Yatsenko Elena

Human kindness helped me survive

I was still waiting for my mother and didn’t want to go away with strangers. But after all, as an orphan, I was given to an elderly and childless couple – Fyodor Bogdanov and Evdokia Bogdanova. They adopted me as their daughter and treated me kindly. But times were very hard and hungry. We ate only frozen potatoes and roots. Once a horse was killed by a...

13 Ноябрь 2015| Fedotova (Brusova) G.P. translated by Yatsenko Elena

We had to decide: to die or to live

Our strength was fading. And so, my mother made a decision, we needed to move. We used to walk to Nikolski Market, then we went back and only after that allowed ourselves to eat. It was already dark, it was winter and there was no electricity. We lit our lamp using lamp oil or castor oil – but we tried to save the castor oil, so we could eat it.

8 Сентябрь 2015| Synotova Evgenia Nikolaevna translated by Sonnova Julia

The Most Important Time of My Life

At that time you were considered a child and were given the children’s food-card up to the age of twelve. There was neither water, nor electricity. There was no way to pipe water in, but there was water downstairs, in the cellar, and there were taps there, so at first we went to the cellar to get water. Later we went to another street for it, as the...

10 Август 2015| Rakova Galina Vladimirovna translated by Chernyavskaya Darya

We are alive due to the miracle

There was no transport in the city, so we put on everything we could and struggled out to Mayakovskaya Street where our “miracle” was waiting for us. A smiling woman of small stature, clean, in a white apron, opened the door. We couldn’t believe it was not a dream. In the centre of a big room there was a stove with something boiling in a pan. It was...

20 Июль 2015| Saliterman (Ioff) Sophia Ilinichna translated by Chernyavskaya Darya


Studies continued in the faculty though they were taught not in the usual lecture-rooms but on the ground floor or in the cellar, in classrooms fitted out in a hurry. Outstanding Soviet historians lectured, administered exams and tests in a cold room at temperatures below zero. But the strength of both students and professors was dwindling with every passing day.

10 Июль 2015| Afanasiev A. translated by Chernyavskaya Darya