Michael's Reviews > Leningrad: The Epic Siege of World War II, 1941-1944

Leningrad by Anna Reid
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's review
Oct 27, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: to-read
Read in September, 2015

I liked Leningrad, by Anna Reid, a lot but it was a disturbing book to read. In 1941 the Germans closed in from the west and quickly surrounded the town. Reid does detail the military side but concentrates on the people who were unable or unwilling to evacuate before the siege. These poor people were shelled and bombed by the Germans while being starved to death, mostly due to the incompetence of their own government. If that was not bad enough, the only part of their government still functioning was the secret police which hauled off to prison anyone who complained about anything. The first winter, the starvation winter, was the worst as the people with no survival skills ebbed and died while consuming anything available which could possibly have any food value in it, some resorting even to cannibalism. Parents watched their children grow bony and die off, leaving their body in the home as no one was available to take the corpses away. On top of that was the 30 below zero temperatures of the Russian winter. What food there was that made it into the city went to the high class government functionaries with very little left for the worker class. The entire city was one huge concentration camp and hundreds of thousands died. I had no idea that the situation in Leningrad was nearly that bad. Anyone who would ever support the corrupt system of Communism only need read "Leningrad" to come to their senses. I loved the book and Anna Reid's excellent telling of the story though I will have nightmares for some time.

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