The people of Leningrad ate wood glue, the paste from the back of wallpaper, and boiled leather belts. People ate the buds on the low branches in spring; everyone who survived the siege can recall “pigweed.” One woman used one of her dead children to feed the others.
For nearly three years, Leningrad was under attack night and day, and almost half its population, including 700,000 women and children, perished. The Germans left the city of Peter the Great, his “Window to the West,” in ruins. Still, they could not defeat Leningrad.
The great siege and the sacrifice of the people who suffered and died will always be remembered—even as the number of survivors continues to dwindle.
This article first appeared on the Warfare History Network.
Image: Wikimedia Commons.