By Cynthia Simmons
Silver Winner, ForeWord Magazine booklet of the yr, History
From September 1941 until eventually January 1944, Leningrad suffered lower than one of many worst sieges within the background of struggle. at the least 1000000 civilians died, many throughout the extraordinarily chilly first wintry weather. Bearing the brunt of this hardship—and holding town alive via their day-by-day toil and sacrifice—were the ladies of Leningrad. but their viewpoint on lifestyles through the siege has been little examined.
Cynthia Simmons and Nina Perlina have searched archival holdings for letters and diaries written throughout the siege, carried out interviews with survivors, and picked up poetry, fiction, and retrospective memoirs written by means of the blokadnitsy (women survivors) to provide a more true photograph of the town lower than siege. In easy, direct, even heartbreaking language, those files inform of misplaced husbands, moms, childrens; meager rations usually supplemented with sawdust and different inedible ingredients; crime, cruelty, or even cannibalism. in addition they relate unforeseen acts of kindness and generosity; makes an attempt to take care of cultural existence via musical and dramatic performances; and supply perception right into a staff of normal girls achieving past alterations in socioeconomic classification, ethnicity, and occupation with the intention to continue to exist in awesome instances.
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Additional info for Writing the Siege of Leningrad: Womens Diaries Memoirs and Documentary Prose (Pitt Russian East European)
North Africa was not only dear to the French but it was also important to the Allies, and therefore to German intelligence. The British used the passage through the Mediterranean to ensure communication with their colonies. Gibraltar and the Suez Canal were of vital interest to the British, and military campaigns in Egypt and Libya were their most important theaters of operation at that point in the war. 28 Thus French North Africa gave German intelligence services reason and opportunity to spy on the Allies.
But the Germans were aware that the population’s initial docility was likely to be brief. Any individual suspected of anti-German propaganda was to be watched. 15 Agents were also expected to ﬁnd the locations of illegal meetings and places that were used for Gaullist recruitment. 16 In addition, the secret services were responsible for ensuring the security of German administrations. Agents were sometimes sent into the southern nonoccupied territories and the colonies to investigate individuals applying for jobs in German services in the northern, occupied zone.
24 Thus Weygand’s North African ﬁef was increasingly visited by numerous German agents after Laval’s ﬁring; they sought information on Weygand’s activities, but also aimed to punish him. It seems that the Abwehr was probably behind a mutiny of a regiment of Algerian soldiers within the French army. On Saturday 25 January 1941, the members of this regiment massacred their French oﬃcers and seized weapons. They advanced toward the city of Algiers where they opened ﬁre on the European population. Investigations after the incident highlighted how the inequalities of army treatment of native soldiers compared to French soldiers had been used to stir up resentment.
Writing the Siege of Leningrad: Womens Diaries Memoirs and Documentary Prose (Pitt Russian East European) by Cynthia Simmons