M.T. Kalashnikov Museum and Exhibition Small Arms Complex

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Exhibition “Unvanquished Leningrad”

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The ceremonial opening of the exhibition “Unvanquished Leningrad” from collection of  State Memorial Museum of Defense and siege of Leningrad will take place at 15.00 on March 14, 2014 in M. T. Kalashnikov Museum exhibition complex of small arms. The exhibition acquaints with the unique phenomenon in world military history, it is siege of Leningrad.

Anywhere in the world the city with such huge population (more than 3 million people) wasn’t exposed to so long siege lasting 872 days! Any city didn’t lose so many civilians: children, women, old men. The terrible price was paid by Leningrad residents, it is about 2 million human lives …

It is possible to read many books about war and siege, but it is impossible to UNDERSTAND completely HOW IT WAS. The exhibition will help to take a step closer to this understanding through the world of the subjects which have remained since that tragic time.

By winter of 1941-1942  there were no any fuel stocks and the electric power, the public transport stopped in Leningrad … Children’s sledge is one of symbols of blockade Leningrad. Children’s sledge remained the only kind of transport in the city: weakened people were transported in the hospitals on them, died people were brought on a cemetery, the water hardly extracted from ice-holes in Neva river were carried, fuel for heating of dwellings …

Cards for bread acquaint visitors of the exhibition with grocery norms of blockade Leningrad.  Since November 20, 1941 norm of bread for Leningrad residents reduced to the lowest:  “…  One hundred twenty five grams with fire and blood in half …”  To dull painful hunger, people ate castor oil, vaseline, joiner’s glue…  Tile of joiner’s glue of brown color (1941):  today it is difficult to imagine that it is not an office subject, but … a food product.

There are rumpled, cracked children’s plastic toys. They were lifted from a bottom of Lake Ladoga from the barge which transported children from the besieged city on the Continent. The barge didn’t deliver the precious freight to saving east coast of Ladoga, it was sunk by fascist aircraft …

By the end of February 1942 more than 200 thousand people died of cold and hunger in Leningrad. But the city lived and fought: plants produced military production, theaters, the museums worked. The Leningrad radio where poets and writers performed didn’t become silent. The books and post cards, school sheets of young Leningrad residents of 1942-1943 academic year, invitation to May holidays of 1943 presented at the exhibition act as real witnesses of history and convince: life is stronger than death, despite everything and contrary to everything!

Each letter, the poster, a leaflet, any subject which become an exhibit, has the history, the history of someone’s life. These subjects are witnesses of the scary tragedy and huge courage. 

 Courage of Withstood, Unbroken, Unvanquished people!