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January 29, 2022, 12:14


From work. Photo by S. Strunnikov. Leningrad. 1942–1943 Main Archive of Moscow

Users have access to videos in which Moscow schoolchildren read news materials from the Pravda newspaper describing life in Leningrad during the blockade from 1941 to 1944.

On January 27, 1944, Soviet troops completely liberated Leningrad from the blockade of the Nazi troops. In memory of this date Main Archive of Moscow and urban Department of Education and Science published new videos in the virtual museum “Moscow – Caring for History” as part of the project “Diaries of Children of War”. In the video, young Muscovites read materials from the Pravda newspaper describing life in Leningrad during the siege years. In addition, in the virtual museum, users have access to about 300 articles and notes from the newspaper “Pravda” for 1941-1944. There you can also see an online collection of childhood memories of the occupation of the Moscow region, which formed the basis of the project “Diaries of War Children”.

“Leningrad is a city of unparalleled courage, steadfastness and courage. The feat of its inhabitants and defenders went down in world history. Leningrad was pinned down by significant forces of the Nazi army, which did not allow the enemy to develop an offensive in other regions of the USSR. By the date of the complete liberation of the city from the fascist blockade, we shared with the townspeople the materials that are stored in the Main Archive of Moscow. They provide an opportunity to get acquainted with the life of the city and its defenders from the end of August 1941, when the railway communication was interrupted, until the end of January 1944, when the commuter traffic of passenger trains was restored, ”said the head of the Main Archive Department of the city of Moscow

Yaroslav Onopenko.

During the days of the blockade, despite regular shelling and bombing, Leningraders continued to study and work. This is evidenced by publications in the Pravda newspaper, the most influential publication in the USSR. For example, in one of the issues of the newspaper one could read the following message: “Leningraders, being in the blockade, launched the production of 52 types of weapons and ammunition for the Soviet army.” Cultural life did not stop in the city – theaters and libraries worked, books were published. In 1941, in Leningrad, composer Dmitry Shostakovich wrote one of his most significant works, Symphony No. 7. In an article for the Pravda newspaper, the composer said: “I wanted to create a work about our days, about our life, about our people who become heroes who fight in the name of our triumph over the enemy, who become heroes and win.”

And the Leningrad writer Pavel Luknitsky, who worked as a war correspondent during the Great Patriotic War, described Leningrad, which had been in the ring of blockade for a year, in the pages of Pravda: parks, on the streets – trams, cars, passers-by. But take a closer look: here is a house destroyed, torn apart by a bomb from top to bottom; here is another, completely burned out, grinning at the bare walls; here are more houses pierced by fragments of German shells. Take a look at the parks, gardens, squares! Not flower beds, not just bright, juicy grass, but vegetable gardens everywhere! Every piece of land in Leningrad is used for vegetable gardens.

The only transport highway connecting Leningrad with the country passed through Lake Ladoga. This path has been called the Road of Life. In the Pravda newspaper, correspondents reported the following: “Ships and barges with food and ammunition were sailing along the waters of Lake Ladoga, airplanes of civil and military air fleets loaded with food and weapons flew across the front line.” Residents of villages and villages of the Leningrad Region sent carts with food to the city, and in winter, almost at the front line along the frozen Ladoga, an ice road was laid to the besieged city.

On January 18, 1943, the blockade ring around Leningrad was broken, and as a result of fierce battles, land communications with it were restored. And despite the fact that the city remained under siege for another year, the breakthrough in the blockade was a turning point. He gave its inhabitants and defenders strength and confidence in the approaching victory. In the newspaper Pravda, ads “Wanted ladies’ dressmakers” began to appear, posters about evenings of humor at the Philharmonic. And on January 27, 1944, the blockade of Leningrad was completely lifted. Pravda reported the following on this occasion: “On January 27, 1944, Leningrad saluted its heroes: the blockade of the city was completely lifted. Leningrad survived, suffered, endured! A courageous, proud fighter, he is even more beautiful today, hardened in battles, stern and adamant!

The virtual museum “Moscow – Caring for History” was created in 2020 by May 9th. The exposition was based on documents and objects that the townspeople handed over for eternal storage to the Main Archives as part of the action “Moscow – with care for history.” Last year at the museum posted documents, telling about the help of Moscow bus and truck drivers to the residents of occupied Leningrad. The materials show how in January 1942 bus expeditions moved into the city, delivering the most necessary things along the Road of Life and evacuating the residents. Also users available a film-lecture about besieged Leningrad and photographs by Pravda newspaper photojournalist Sergei Strunnikov.

The War Children’s Diaries project was launched on April 20, 2021, the day the battle for Moscow ended, it was created by the Main Archive and the Moscow Department of Education and Science. The project was based on letters from children of different ages, in which they shared their memories of the difficult events of November-December 1941, when they had to live under German occupation in the Solnechnogorsk district of the Moscow region. Almost 60 Moscow schoolchildren read these memoirs for the video. The project is scheduled to be completed in April this year.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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