SAINT PETERSBURG COMMEMORATES THE END OF THE SIEGE OF LENINGRAD
This year, the city marks the 76th anniversary of the end of the siege.
On Monday morning, the solemn gathering and floral tribute to the plaque at 14, Nevskiy Avenue in Saint Petersburg launched a series of events the city will host to commemorate the 76th anniversary, as the Central District press service shared with TASS.
"The ceremony at Nevskiy 14, where there still is a sign 'Beware: this side is the most dangerous under shelling,' was attended by residents of the city, siege survivors, veterans of the German-Soviet War, representatives from the city Government and Legislative Assembly, and the authorities of the Central District. Traditionally, students of School No. 210 participated, too, since the plaque is located on the school building. The students laid flowers and conveyed sincere thanks to the veterans," said Tass's contact.
It was decided to keep the commemorative wall signs in Saint Petersburg on the initiative from military poet Mikhail Dudin (1916–1993) to honor the victims of the siege. The signs remind present residents about the conditions the city suffered during the siege. The warning signs were put on the walls of Leningrad buildings so that the residents could choose safer paths and avoid areas shelled by the Nazis.
Petersburg's residents will also lay flowers to the Philharmonia's plaque dedicated to the first performance of Dmitri Shostakovich's Symphony No. 7, titled Leningrad, to the Olga Bergholz plaque on Rubinstein street, and other memorials that honor the bravery of Leningrad's residents during the siege. By tradition, the main ceremony will be held at the Piskaryovskoye Memorial Cemetery.
In the morning, an interactive exhibition of modern and past military technology has opened in the Palace Square. The exhibition, starting from noon, will be offering its guests to try the boiled buckwheat soldiers eat in the army and hot tea to warm themselves up. Two hundred fifty musicians of the Western Military District Orchestra and other artists from Saint Petersburg will be performing at the exhibition. Victory Volunteers will be handing out moire ribbons repeating the coloring of the Medal "For the Defense of Leningrad."
Tram trips under the siege
The Saint Petersburg Museum of Electrical Transport on Vasilyevskiy Island has prepared a special program. "The city will always remember siege trams as a symbol of life and hope in the darkest days. To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory, students of School No. 543 of the Moscow District prepared to play 'The year of memory and Glory' to perform at their meeting with veterans," reported the museum's press service. The remembrance campaign will be crowned by a tribute to the commemoration plaque dedicated to the bravery of the Leningrad's tram workers under the siege and by a run of trams that rode the streets during the siege.
In the afternoon, the Oktyabrskiy Grand Concert Hall will be hosting a concert 'The Victory of Leningrad.' As the Culture Committee reports, war veterans, siege survivors, representatives from public agencies, and war and labor associations have been invited as guests of honor. They will enjoy performances by People's Artist of the USSR Edita Piekha, People's Artists Lev Leshchenko, Ilya Reznik, Oleg Pogudin, Vasiliy Gerello, Nikolay Marton, Farukh Ruzimatov, the Ensemble of Song and Dance of the Western Military District, the Military Orchestra of the Western Military District HQ, and others.
As our reporters were told at the Committee for Youth Policy and NGO Cooperation, students of Saint Petersburg universities will take part in the "Siege Light" motion. "The atrium of the Peter and Paul Fortress will host a student search party exhibition, various themed interactive sites, and photo areas. Guests of the Fortress will enjoy poetry and sing songs from the war times. Between 7.30 pm and 8 pm Moscow time, the city anthem will sound, and the Siege Light participants will turn on flashlights and create a myriad of light beams streaming in the sky to commemorate the freeing of Leningrad from the siege. At 9 pm Moscow time, the artillery will give 30 volleys from the walls of the Fortress to celebrate the end of the siege.
About the Siege
The siege of Leningrad lasted 872 days and took the lives of hundreds of thousands of residents of the city. Historians still do not know the exact number of casualties and give numbers from 500,000 to 1,500,000 lives. The Leningrad Battle went down in history as one of the longest and goriest battles of World War II. Since Fall 1941, five attempts had been made to break the siege, but only the sixth attempt, the Iskra operation, turned out successful in January 1943. The Soviet Army managed to lift the siege entirely only a year after that, on January 27, 1943. The date has been celebrated by the city as the Leningrad Victory Day ever since.