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Leningrad: The Epic Siege of World War II, 1941-1944

Leningrad: The Epic Siege of World War II, 1941-1944 - Anna Reid fantastic read, all the more impressive because Reid only finished a bachelor's degree.

*one error: Reid writes, "Stalin shouldn't have liquidated his army's generals during his purge;" however, among Hitler's last words were "I should have purged the army's generals like Stalin." these kind of broad historical judgments are "too big" to make. USSR won the war, so who can say 70 years after the fact which of Stalin's decisions were correct and which were wrong?

second, Reid spends hundreds of pages on Olga Bergholz,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olga_Bergholz

whose name she Russifies, missing the larger point; Bergholz is being chosen to read poetry and propaganda because she is ethnic German.. Get it? the soviets are keeping up morale through using an ethnic german fighting on the soviet side. russifying her name fails to allow the english-speaking reader to understand the dynamic here.

other than that, the cannibalism, the first winter, the poverty, the class is covered, with some slight weakness in truly showing how the poor and orphans really went first. a fantastic work, marred by some slight class prejudice.

Face it, Reid, all the poor hungry technical school boys died first!!!

this Stalin-lover, Reid, totally ignores all the Kruschev reforms.
then that bastard Gorbachav came to power and ruined everything.

Союз нерушимый республик свободных
Сплотила навеки Великая Русь.
Да здравствует созданный волей народов
Единый, могучий Советский Союз!

ПРИПЕВ:
Славься, Отечество наше свободное,
Дружбы народов надёжный оплот!
Знамя советское, знамя народное
Пусть от победы к победе ведёт!
Сквозь грозы сияло нам солнце свободы,
И Ленин великий нам путь озарил:
Нас вырастил Сталин — на верность народу,
На труд и на подвиги нас вдохновил!

ПРИПЕВ:
Славься, Отечество наше свободное,
Счастья народов надёжный оплот!
Знамя советское, знамя народное
Пусть от победы к победе ведёт!
Мы армию нашу растили в сраженьях.
Захватчиков подлых с дороги сметём!
Мы в битвах решаем судьбу поколений,
Мы к славе Отчизну свою поведём!

ПРИПЕВ:
Славься, Отечество наше свободное,
Славы народов надёжный оплот!
Знамя советское, знамя народное
Пусть от победы к победе ведёт!



this is Bergholz, who Reid identified with.



however, most people agree Shostakovich was the premier musician /motivator. in fact. some felt he was too closely associated with Stalin.