Siege Museum

Saint Petersburg / Russia

The full name of this museum is The State Memorial Museum of Defense and Siege. It was created soon after the Siege ended and devoted to the difficult military period from September 1941 till January 1944 when the city besieged by the enemies lived and resisted starvation and cold.

The Museum at Solyanoy lane was opened twice – first time in 1944, and the second time in 1989. During the period from 1949 till 1953 the museum was closed, then disestablished and wasnon-existent till 1989. The official version is that the museum exaggerated heroism of defenders of Leningrad and the role of army and party leaders of the city.

214 people were convicted with regard to the so-called Leningrad case. 26 of them were killed. The USSR leaders wouldn’t allow life to the museum organized by Leningrad city and region committees of the Communist Party of the USSR. The museum fell victim to intraparty power struggle. Georgy Malenkov and Lavrentiy Beria won this time.

The Museum’s revival started with Perestroika when rehabilitation of the victims of political repressions began.

The current display of the Museum consists of three parts. The first part is devoted to the Winter War of 1939 as the Siege precursor (not only German troops but also Germany’s Finnish allies participated in the Siege). The second part tells about military aspects of the defense of Leningrad, defense of Nevskiy Pyatachok and the operation of raising of the blockade. The third and the most difficult part tells about evacuation of city residents, about life in blockaded Leningrad, and food rationing in the besieged city, and about the opening of the Road of Life. About life and death.