Inna Turina

life under siege

The siege began on September 8, 1941 when the German troops encircled Leningrad. It lasted for 900 days. Hunger and cold became the city’s greatest enemies.

As the bitter Russian winter set in, Leningrad’s oil and coal supplies were exhausted. By November, food was in such short supply that the city’s population of dogs, cats, and horses began to disappear. The staggering number of dead bodies could not be buried in the frozen ground. Corpses accumulated in open areas.

In 1942 Inna and her mother received permission to leave Leningrad to stay with her grandmother in the Urals. With her father conscripted into the Russian army, the women waited until they could return to the city.

During the winter of 1944-45 Inna and her mother made the journey back to Leningrad by freight train. Returning to their apartment they found a totally bare space. Everything imaginable had been burned for fuel during the two and a half year siege.