Kurilla: The Siege of Leningrad was one of the worst tragedies of humankind in the last century

24 Jan 2019

(Gulf Times) They ate nothing,” Marina Kulagina recalled, telling the story of her mother who survived the years-long Siege of Leningrad in its entirety. Seven of her mother Valentina Grigoryeva’s eight siblings and their father, Kulagina’s grandfather, died in the mass starvation of the blockaded city.

Natalia Khatuntseva, now 86, told a similar story. She was a young girl when Nazi and Finnish forces surrounded the city of her birth. Her father succumbed to malnutrition within half a year of the siege. [...]

Ivan Kurilla, a history professor at the European University in St Petersburg, described the siege as “one of the worst tragedies of humankind in the last century.” “People starved, died of hunger, and there were awful stories about eating corpses and cannibalism,” he said. [...]

Kurilla agreed that the Allied victory continues to evoke a considerable sense of pride in Russia. “I feel pride for the ancestors who were on the right side in the bloodiest war in human history,” Kurilla said. They “defeated Nazism in alliance with democratic countries — and with great sacrifice.” “Many talented people died,” Kurilla said. “My country could be very different if those people had lived their whole lives. This is a big sorrow about that war.”

Read More © Gulf Times