Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Fall 2019

Department 1



In 1941 during the Second World War, Hitler began Operation Barbarossa, in which he invaded the Soviet Union in order to repopulate it with Germans and expand German territory. The city of Leningrad, now St. Petersburg, was one of Hitler’s main objectives because if Leningrad fell to the Germans, they would then be able to go south and capture Moscow, which would possibly lead them to win the war. Additionally, Leningrad was a Baltic seaport, which was useful for trade, and it was home to some of the USSR’s main munition factories. When Germany attacked Leningrad, the people of the city were cut off from food and fuel for 882 days, making it the longest siege of the modern day. With very limited food and resources, death became an everyday occurrence and every Leningrader endured starvation, taking desperate measures to keep themselves and their loved ones alive. To avoid death, they used the nearby lake to transport food into the besieged city and meanwhile made food out of any resources they had left, regardless of whether or not it was truly edible.


Written for HIST 110: The Twentieth Century World.