70th Anniversary — Siege of Leningrad Broken

Blockade Memorial in Seraphimovskoe Cemetery

In the long history of our city there are many remarkable dates but only one is commemorated with a special reverence and respect — the 27th of January, 1944. This was the day the Siege Leningrad was lifted during the Second World War. No other city on the planet had ever been subjected to such a severe siege accompanied by an everyday bombardment, shortage of food, and lack of any connection with the main land. According to the latest research more than one million people, citizens of Leningrad, died of starvation. Each family in today’s St Petersburg can tell a heartbreaking story about the war-time hardships. The most famous diary, left by a schoolgirl Tanya Savicheva, represents a concise chronicle of the deaths of her relatives. There are only 9 pages in it but a deep grief fills each line! Tanya lost all her family and died in evacuation when she was only 14. Her diary is now displayed in the museum of St Petersburg history.

This year the city commemorates a 70th jubilee after Siege of Leningrad was broken. The celebration will last for three days, from the 25th to the 27th of January. On the 26th of January the veterans will be honored at the October Concert Hall where the war-time songs will be performed during a concert. In the center of the city on Italiyanskaya Street there will be an installation showing fire-engines, air defense guns and tramways that are destined to recreate the atmosphere of the besieged city. It will be possible to learn more about this tragic page in the history of the city during excursions organized every 20 minutes. On Palace Square old photos and video showing the events of the World War II will be broadcast. Another innovation in a traditional celebration is the tramway parade on Basil Island. Tramway is one of the symbols of Leningrad. During the war it was the only transport operating in the city. But it was not just a means of transport. It literally delivered people from death by saving 400 precious calories for anyone who used it.

But for the citizens of St Petersburg the 27th of January is, first and foremost, the day of memory for the feat of those who at the expense of their lives worked at local factories and plants to save the city, shared their humble piece of bread with others and believed in the victory over fascism. All along the Nevsky Prospekt and on Palace Square people will pay tribute to those brave sould who died for the life of future generations by participating in a minute of silence. So that »no one and nothing will be forgotten.»