The blockade of Leningrad is one of the most tragic pages of the Great Patriotic War. It lasted 872 days. On January 18, 1943, the blockade ring was broken, and on January 27, 1944, the day of the complete liberation of the city from the Nazi blockade. IA «24.kg» regularly marks these dates (materials for 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016), meeting with members of the Kyrgyz Society of the Siege of Leningrad. This time its chairman Anna Kutanova tells her story.
Despite her advanced age (87 years old), our heroine is cheerful and cheerful. She enjoys authority among government officials and is known far beyond the borders of the republic. Her optimism and hard work is an example for everyone.
Hell on earth
“I want to start the story with the lines of one of the Leningrad poets,” says Anna Alekseevna. “They accurately reflect the feelings of the residents of the city who were in the blockade.
“Forty-first, September, the eighth,
On this day, the blockade burned us with fire.
We didn’t even know then that the ring had closed,
And that death has already looked into our faces.
That the fire on the Badayevskys is not refined,
Not torment, but the blockades of life are burning.
We could not even imagine then
How long can we endure and how little we can live.
Well, if they knew what hell awaits us,
All the same, they would not have surrendered Leningrad to the enemy. “
There was almost no food delivery, and as soon as the blockade began, a rationing system was introduced in the city. Mostly bread was given. Issuance rates dropped several times. At one time, workers received
Four of us lived: dad, mom, older sister and me.
There was no food stock. Sometimes my mother brought home something like cottage cheese. She made pies and warmed up on a stove. The father, who was not taken into the army for health reasons, served in the ranks of the air defense. Always tried to bring home an extra piece of bread.
In Leningrad, they ate all the cats, and rats bred. However, after some time, the starving rodents began to leave the city in large flocks.
There was no light or water, the sewage system did not work. Water was taken from the Neva or the Black River. It must be conveyed, but there is no strength!
They wore what they could lift – in teapots and bottles.
Grass appeared in the spring. People collected it and even bought it in stores and made soup. However, not everyone made it to the warm days. The winter of 1941-1942 was extremely cold: the temperature dropped to -40. Some died at home. Others, going outside, put on whatever was, and threw a blanket on top. A man walks and suddenly falls dead. There were so many corpses that the warriors did not have time to collect them.
We lived on the fourth floor in the building where the police station used to be. There was no bomb shelter. As soon as the shelling began, they ran out of the house to the rest of the people. Bombings were common and occurred more often at night. Sometimes they bombed up to ten times a night. Sometimes the raids lasted 8-10 hours, and some even 13. The hum of German planes, bombs fly, and you think: will they fall on your house or nearby? You stand on the ground, and it moves as if alive. “
“Leningrad was the most beautiful, economically developed city. When the war broke out, one part of the industrial enterprises was evacuated, but the other worked and produced weapons. A musical comedy theater worked in the city. The artists went to the front with concerts.
Men were taken away to fight, while women worked in factories and often spent the night there. Adolescents began to play an important role. Children 12-14 years old were already considered adults.
I was an active girl. She worked as a signalman: she sat at the phone, received reports from other areas and carried them to the headquarters under shelling and bombing. I created my own squad, and every day the house manager gave us tasks with the guys. They cleaned up in basements and attics, installed barrels of water and boxes of sand, stood watch on the roofs to extinguish incendiary bombs. They worked in the hospital, helped the soldiers to dig trenches, in the spring they cleared the streets of the sewage that had accumulated over the winter. In general, they did not sit idle. Maybe that’s why they survived.
We have no feelings left. We were like stones. Dad died at the food distribution point, and the vigilantes took him to the Piskarevskoye cemetery. We did not see how he was buried, but we did not even shed tears. Could not! During the blockade, about thirty relatives died in Leningrad.
The period before the break of the blockade is the most difficult. The way Leningraders showed themselves is something amazing! Ordinary people, children did everything for the sake of life on earth and in their city. The patriotic spirit was exceptional! There was probably no such heroism in world practice.
The mass evacuation began in 1942. First of all, children were taken out. In Kyrgyzstan, they were received by orphanages in Issyk-Kul and Osh regions. The name Toktogon Altybasarova from the village of Kurmenty is widely known, who replaced the mother of 150 little Leningraders. Our family could have evacuated, but my mother decided not to leave, saying that we would stay in Leningrad until the last.
In January 1943, the blockade was announced on the radio. It was such happiness! Those who could poured out into the street and rejoiced, – Anna Kutanova recalls. – At the age of 13 I was awarded the medal “For the Defense of Leningrad”. Its owners are considered participants in the Great Patriotic War. “
“I am a teacher by profession. In 1953, she graduated from the Leningrad Institute of Finance and Economics, married a guy from Kyrgyzstan and came to Frunze. She worked for a year at the Ministry of Finance, and then taught banking at a technical school for 38 years. My husband died early, and I was left with three sons, ”says Anna Alekseevna.
“In 1994, the Kyrgyz Society of the Siege of Leningrad was created, and I joined it. At first I worked as the chairman of the Leninsky district, and in 2002 I was elected the head of the society. Over the past years, she has achieved an improvement in the life of the blockade: in 2006 she was equated to the participants in the war, and their pension increased. Some, thanks to the new status, received an apartment. In addition, by order of the president, additional life payments were established for the blockade. Today they are in a somewhat better position than the home front workers.
We congratulate the members of our society on the holidays. Whenever possible, we help financially. Society does not have its own means. However, the world is not without good people. Gazpromneft Asia and Gazprom Kyrgyzstan regularly support us.
Today there are 30 members in KOBL. Many no longer walk, and gradually our ranks are thinning. It is sad that in peacetime we bury our comrades-in-arms … We pay attention to the education of the younger generation: we go to educational institutions and talk about our experiences during the war. There is a blockade museum at school # 13.
You need to live in peace and harmony and not allow what is happening now in some countries. Looking at this, we, the witnesses of the Second World War, want to shout: stop! ” – recalls the interlocutor.
Memory carved in stone
“Once I decided to build a memorial to the blockade in Bishkek. After all, children evacuated from besieged Leningrad to Kyrgyzstan and staying here forever did not have the opportunity to visit their parents’ grave. It took me and my son Marat 4.5 years to implement the idea. I had to bypass all the authorities, including the president.
We asked the relatives living in the Leningrad region to fill the capsule with earth from Piskarevka and send it to us. When the monument was being built, it was buried at the base. This is how a part of our parents appeared in Bishkek, and we can kneel before them, ”says Anna Kutanova.
“The monument was opened in 2012,” says the blockade woman with pride. – This is our brainchild, which we care about. Sometimes you look, and teenagers run on it. The attitude is not the best. We wanted to organize a TV broadcast on the topic of preserving monuments, but it didn’t work out. And then my former students – now large, influential bankers, took patronage over the memorial and began to look after him. Taalay Tatkulov’s initiative has already been taken up by six banks. They look after not only our monument, but also others – Ormon Khan, Kurmanjan Datka, Konstantin Yudakhin, the Alley of Heroes. Bankers go out on Saturday volunteers themselves and attract children. We are very grateful. Here is an example of how the younger generation honors its history, not in words, but in deeds. “