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The 900-day Siege of Leningrad during the Second World War was perhaps one of the most gruesome sieges in modern history. Hitler’s diabolic plan was to choke all food supply routes to the city of two million residents and let nature do the dirty work.

“Leningrad must die of starvation”, Hitler declared in a speech at Munich on November 8, 1941.

The following winter, hundreds of thousands starved to death. People tried in vain to stay alive by eating sawdust. Others froze to death in the streets while trying to walk a few kilometers to food distribution kiosks in −30 °C weather.


Inside the Vavilov Institute of Plant Industry, St. Petesburg. Photo credit: Akimov Igor /

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