The horrors of besieged Leningrad
On January 27, Russia marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Leningrad from the fascist blockade. More terrible than the bombing and shelling at the time was the famine that killed thousands of people.
There was a boy in front of me, maybe nine years old. He was tightened with a handkerchief, then a cotton blanket was tightened, the boy was frozen. Coldly. Some of the people left, some were replaced by others, and the boy did not leave. I ask this boy: “Why don't you go to get warm?” And he: “It's still cold at home.” I say: “What are you doing, you live alone?” - “No, with mother”. - "So, the mother can not go?" - "No, it can not. She's dead. " I say: “How dead?” - “Mom died, you feel sorry for her. Now I figured it out. I now only put her to bed for a day, and at night I put her on the stove. She is still dead. It's cold from her. ” "Blockade Book" Ales Adamovich, Daniel Granin
"Blockade book" by Ales Adamovich and Daniil Granin. I bought it once in the best bookseller in St. Petersburg on Liteiny. The book is not a table, but always in sight.A modest gray cover with black letters keeps under it a living, terrible, great document that has gathered memories of eyewitnesses who survived the siege of Leningrad, and the authors themselves who became participants in those events. Reading it is hard, but I would like everyone to do it ...
From an interview with Danil Granin: "- During the blockade, the marauders were shot on the spot, but also, I know, without trial or investigation, cannibals were allowed to be consumed. Can one condemn these people who are distraught from hunger, who have not turned their tongues to call people , and how frequent were cases when, in the absence of other food, they ate their own kind? - Hunger, I will tell you, deprives you of constraints: morality disappears, moral prohibitions go away. Hunger is an incredible feeling that does not let go even for a moment, but, to surprise my and a Amovich, working on this book, we understood: Leningrad did not become human, and this is a miracle! Yes, cannibalism took place ... - ... ate children? - There were worse things - Hmm, what could be worse? for example? - I don’t even want to talk ... (Pause). Imagine that one own child was fed to another, and there was something that we didn’t write about.Nobody forbade anything, but ... Couldn't we ... - Was there some amazing case of survival in the blockade that shook you to the depths of your soul? “Yes, the mother fed the children with her blood, incising her veins."
“... In each apartment the dead were lying. And we were not afraid of anything. Before, will you go? After all, it is unpleasant when the dead ... Here we have a family died out, so they lay. And when they already removed to the barn! ”(M.Ya. Babich)
“Dystrophics have no fear. The Academy of Arts on the descent to the Neva dumped corpses. I calmly climbed over this mountain of corpses ... It would seem that the weaker a person is, the worse he is, but no, the fear has disappeared. What would happen to me if it was in peacetime, would have died, from horror. And now because: there is no light on the stairs - I'm afraid. As soon as people had eaten, fear appeared ”(Nina Ilyinichna Laksha).
Pavel Filippovich Gubchevsky, researcher at the Hermitage: - What kind of rooms did they have? - Empty frames! It was Orbeli’s wise order: leave all the frames in place. Thanks to this, the Hermitage restored its exposition eighteen days after the return of the paintings from the evacuation! And in the war they hung, empty eye-frames, on which I conducted several excursions. - By empty frames? - By empty frames.
The Unknown Walker is an example of massive blockade altruism. He was exposed in the extreme days, in extreme circumstances, but the more true is his nature. How many were there - unknown passersby! They disappeared, returning life to man; pulling away from the deadly edge, disappeared without a trace, even their appearance did not have time to imprint in the fading consciousness. It seemed that to them, unknown passers-by, they had no obligations, no kindred feelings, they did not expect either fame or payment. Compassion? But death was all around, and they walked past corpses indifferently, marveling at their hardening. Most say to themselves: the death of the closest, dear people did not reach the heart, some kind of defense system worked in the body, nothing was perceived, there was no strength to respond to the mountain.
A blockade apartment cannot be depicted in any museum, in any model or panorama, just as it is impossible to depict frost, anguish, hunger ... The blockade itself, remembering, mark broken windows, sawn furniture for firewood - the most dramatic, unusual. But then the real kind of apartment struck only the children and visitors, who came from the front. As it was, for example, with Vladimir Yakovlevich Alexandrov: “- You knock for a long, long time - you cannot hear anything. And you already have the full impression that everyone died there.Then some shuffling begins, the door opens. In an apartment where the temperature is equal to the ambient temperature, a wrapped god appears in which creature. You hand him a bag of some rusks, biscuits or something else. And what hit? Lack of emotional outburst. - And even if the products? - Even the products. After all, many starving people already had appetite atrophy. ”
The doctor at the hospital: “I remember having brought the twin boys ... Here are the parents who sent them a small program: three cookies and three candy. Sonechka and Serezhenka - that was the name of these kids. The boy gave himself and her cookies, then the cookies were divided in half.
Remain crumbs, he gives crumbs sister. A sister throws him the phrase: "Sergei, it's hard for men to endure the war, you eat up these little crumbs." They were three years old. - Three years?! - They barely said, yes, three years, such crumbs! And then the girl was taken away, but the boy stayed. I do not know, they survived or not ... "
The amplitude of human passions in the blockade has increased tremendously - from the fall of the most painful to the highest manifestations of consciousness, love and devotion. “... Among the children with whom I left was a boy of our employee — Igor, a charming boy, handsome. His mother very gently, with terrible love, took care of him.Even in the first evacuation she said: “Maria Vasilyevna, you, too, give goat milk to your children. I take goat's milk to Igor. ” And my children were even placed in another barrack, and I tried not to give them anything, not a single gram more than what was supposed to be. And then this Igor lost the cards. And now, in April, I was somehow walking past the Eliseevsky shop (there were already dystrophics crawling out into the sun) and I see that a boy is sitting, a terrible, edematous skeleton. “Igor? What's wrong with you? ”- I say. “Maria Vasilyevna, my mother threw me out. Mom told me that she would not give me a single piece of bread. ” - "How so? It can not be! ”He was in serious condition. We barely climbed with him to my fifth floor, I could hardly drag him. My children had already gone to kindergarten by this time and were still holding themselves. He was so scary, so pitiful! And all the time he said: “I do not blame my mother. She is doing the right thing. It’s my fault, I lost my card. ” “I’m telling you, I’ll arrange for you at school” (which was supposed to open up). And my son whispers: "Mom, give him what I brought from kindergarten."
I fed him and went with him to Chekhov street. Enter The room is terrible dirt. This distorted, disheveled woman lies.When she saw her son, she immediately shouted: “Igor, I will not give you a single piece of bread. Get out! ”In the room stench, dirt, darkness. I say: “What are you doing ?! After all, there are only some three or four days left - he will go to school, he will recover. ” - “Nothing! Here you stand on your feet, but I do not stand. I will not give him anything! I'm lying, I'm hungry ... "Here is such a transformation from a tender mother into such a beast! But Igor did not leave. He stayed with her, and then I learned that he was dead. A few years later I met her. She was blooming, already healthy. She saw me, rushed to me, shouted: “What have I done!” I said to her: “Well, now what to say about it!” - “No, I can no longer. All thoughts of him. ” After a while she committed suicide. ”
The fate of the animals of besieged Leningrad is also part of the tragedy of the city. The human tragedy. Otherwise you cannot explain why not one and not two, but almost every tenth blockade remembers, tells about the death from an elephant bomb at a zoo.
Many, very many people remember blockaded Leningrad through this state: it is especially uncomfortable, terribly human, and he is closer to death, disappearance from the fact that cats, dogs, even birds have disappeared! ..
“Below, below us, in the apartment of the deceased president, four women — his three daughters and granddaughter — are stubbornly fighting for their lives,” notes G. Knyazev.- Still alive and their cat, which they pulled out to rescue in every alarm. The other day, an acquaintance came to them, a student. I saw a cat and begged to give it to him. He bent straight: "Give back, give back." I barely got rid of him. And his eyes lit up. Poor women are even scared. Now they are worried that he will sneak over to them and steal their cat. O loving woman's heart! The fate of natural maternity deprived Nekhorosheva, a student, and she is worn like a child with a cat, Loseva is worn with her dog. Here are two copies of these rocks on my radius. All the rest have been eaten long ago! "Residents of besieged Leningrad with their pets
A.P. Grishkevich recorded on March 13 in his diary: “The following incident occurred in one of the orphanages of the Kuybyshevsky district. On March 12, all the staff gathered in the boys room to watch the fight of two children. As it turned out later, they started it on the “boy’s principal issue”. And before that there were “fights”, but only verbal and because of bread. ” Head of Comrade. Vasilyeva says: “This is the most gratifying fact in the past six months. At first the children were lying, then they began to argue, after they got up from the beds, and now - an unprecedented case - they are fighting.I would have been removed from work for such a case before, but now we, the educators, stood looking at the fight and rejoiced. Has revived, means, our small people. ” In the surgical department of the Rauffus City Children's Hospital, New Year 1941/42