by Nora Hoppe for the Saker blog
In Celebration of the End of the Siege of Leningrad… 27th January 1944
Shostakovich’s Seventh Symphony was written in 1941, primarily during the Siege of Leningrad by the Nazi forces. When it had its premiere in the war-torn city on 9th August 1942 – performed by the emaciated, surviving musicians of the Leningrad Radio Orchestra that was supplemented with military performers, before a starving but euphoric audience – it was hailed as a universal beacon of resistance to barbarism.
The conductor, Karl Eliasberg, concluded that “in that moment, we triumphed over the soulless Nazi war machine”.
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“On that peaceful summer morning of 22nd June 1941, I was on my way to the Leningrad Stadium to watch my favourite Sunday football game,” Dmitri Dmitrievich Shostakovich wrote, “But Molotov’s radio address found me hurrying down the street… Our fruitful, constructive existence was rudely shattered!” The Nazi invasion of Russia had brought Hitler’s hordes to the gates of Leningrad.
It was on that very date that Adolf Hitler launched Operation Barbarossa (the plan for the invasion of the Soviet Union)… Hitler was allegedly so confident of capturing Leningrad and obliterating its population that he already had invitations printed for the victory celebrations to be held in the city’s Hotel Astoria.
According to the German plan for the Eastern Front, the original task of the German strategic formation known as the Army Group North was to conquer Leningrad by mid-September 1941. However, this proved impossible early on. The mobilisation of the civilian population to create defensive lines in the south of the city – mostly women, as the men were either employed in the factories or had to go to the front – and the stalwart resistance of the Red Army prevented the Germans from taking the city by storm.
In July 1941, Franz Alfred Six, leader of the “Advance Commando Moscow of Einsatzgruppe B”, told German military officials: “Hitler intends to extend the eastern border of the Reich as far as the line Baku-Stalingrad-Moscow-Leningrad … a ‘blazing strip’ will emerge in which all life is to be erased,” he said, adding: “It is intended to decimate about 30 million Russians living in this strip through starvation, by removing all foodstuffs.” Six told the men that Leningrad was to be razed to the ground and that all Germans were “forbidden on pain of death to give a Russian even a piece of bread.”
Under Field Marshal Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb, the “Army Group North” advanced on Leningrad from the south while Finnish military forces were stationed in the north (their participation in the blockade mainly consisted of a recapture of lands lost in the Winter War). The goal was to encircle Leningrad, thus cutting off all communication with the city and preventing the defenders from receiving any supplies. The Germans starvation policy was the primary weapon to be used against the citizens; German scientists had already calculated the city would reach starvation after only a few weeks.
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On Friday, 27th June 1941, the Council of Deputies of the Leningrad administration organised the “first response groups” of civilians. In the next days, Leningrad’s civilian population was informed of the Nazi menace, and over a million citizens were mobilised for the construction of fortifications.
The 34-year-old Shostakovich, who, at the time, was head of the piano department at the Leningrad Conservatory, submitted three applications asking to be sent to the Red Army, and then to the People’s Militia, but he was refused by both on medical grounds – due to his poor eyesight. The composer was instead advised to “beat the enemy with the weapon he possessed”.
But Shostakovich insisted on participating in the anti-aircraft defence and volunteered with the Home Guard in Leningrad. Together with other comrades, he dug trenches and kept watch during the night air raids, while arranging light music to be played at the front. The following month he was reassigned to the fire-fighting brigade at the Leningrad Conservatory, where he was photographed in his fireman’s uniform, standing on the conservatory rooftop.
On 15th July 1941, impelled and galvanised by the ominous atmosphere of war and the great trepidation he felt for his motherland and his beloved city, Shostakovich began to work feverishly on the first movement of a composition that was to become his seventh symphony.
The first movement of the symphony was written during a relentless bombardment of the city. Shostakovich recalled: “Neither the savage raids, nor the German planes, nor the sinister atmosphere of the besieged city could hinder the flow. I worked with an inhuman intensity that I had never achieved before.”
On 2nd September, the day that the Germans intensified their bombardment of the city, Shostakovich began work on the second movement. Working at high intensity in between dashes to the nearest bomb shelter, he completed it within two weeks.
On 8th September, Leningrad was locked in the fateful Siege.
On 16th September, the composer made a special radio broadcast (an excerpt of this broadcast) to encourage the soldiers at the front, saying: “An hour ago I completed the second part of my new work. If I manage to complete the third and fourth parts of this composition, and if it turns out well, I shall be able to call it the Seventh Symphony…. Despite the war-time conditions, despite the danger which is threatening Leningrad, I have written the first two parts in a comparatively short time. Why am I telling you this? I am telling you this so that listeners tuned in now should know that life in our city is normal. Despite the threat of invasion, things are going on as usual in our city. All of us are soldiers today, and those who work in the field of culture and the arts are doing their duty on a par with all the other citizens of Leningrad… Soviet musicians, my dear, numerous comrades-in-arms, my friends! Remember that grave danger faces our art. Let us defend our music, let us work honestly and selflessly… Comrades, I shall soon be completing my Seventh Symphony. My mind is clear and the drive to create urges me on to conclude my composition. And then I shall come on the air again, with my new work and shall nervously await your stern, friendly judgment. I assure you in the name of all Leningraders, in the name of all those working in the field of culture and the arts, that we are invincible and that we are ever at our posts… I assure you that we are invincible.”
That same evening Shostakovich had invited several musicians to his apartment to hear what he had written so far. After he finished the first movement, there was a long silence. An air-raid warning sounded. No one moved. Everyone wanted to hear the piece once more. But the composer briefly excused himself to take his wife Nina and their children Galina and Maxim to the nearest air-raid shelter. When he returned to his guests, he repeated the first movement to the blasts of Luftwaffe bombs and anti-aircraft fire and then proceeded to play the next movement. Their deeply emotional reactions encouraged him to start that night on the Adagio – the third part. He completed this movement on 29th September.
After a month of harrowing conditions in Leningrad, Shostakovich was ordered to evacuate the city. He initially resisted this, but Stalin was determined to protect the most renowned assets of Soviet culture. The composer finally agreed to be evacuated with his family to Moscow and took the first three movements of the symphony along with him. In an article written on 8th October, Shostakovich wrote that his new composition was to be a “symphony about our age, our people, our sacred war, and our victory”.
With Moscow itself under threat, Russian artists as well as industries were transplanted eastward. Two weeks after their arrival in the capital, Shostakovich and his family boarded a train, along with composers Aram Khachaturian and Dmitri Kabalevsky and members of the Bolshoi Theatre. Their destination was the temporary capital Kuybyshev (today known as Samara on the Volga), over 600 miles east of Moscow. There the family settled into a three-room suite with a grand piano.
Distraught by the devastation he had witnessed in Leningrad and the perils now facing Moscow, Shostakovich felt paralysed and was unable to focus creatively for several weeks. But in early December, when the Red Army succeeded in repelling the Germans before they could reach Moscow, he experienced a renewed burst of energy… and in a matter of two weeks he brought the composition to a triumphant conclusion – on 27th December 1941.
An inscription was written on the title page of the music score, “Dedicated to the City of Leningrad. Dmitry Dmitrievich Shostakovich” and on the final page, “27.XII.1941. Kuybyshev”.
Conceived on the banks of the Neva and completed on the banks of the Volga, this musical opus became the most legendary musical composition of the entire World War II period… not to mention a social and political achievement on a global scale.
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The conditions in Leningrad during the 872 days of the Siege were horrific. Thousands of soldiers died gruesome deaths trying to defend the city, while its inhabitants succumbed to various diseases or famine. The city had become a living hell, with dead bodies littering the streets, since few people could spare the energy to give them a proper burial. In February, special teams removed over 1,000 corpses a day from the streets. Eyewitness reports told of people who had died of cold and starvation lying in doorways in stairwells. “They lay there because people dropped them there, the way new-born infants used to be left. Janitors swept them away in the morning like rubbish. Funerals, graves, coffins were long forgotten. It was a flood of death that could not be managed. Entire families vanished, entire apartments with their collective families. Houses, streets and neighbourhoods vanished.”
On the battlefields, winter temperatures made it impossible to dig pits in the frozen ground, and congealed cadavers were used instead of logs to reinforce trench walls and shelter roofs.
According to official statistics presented at the Nuremberg Trials, as reported by RT, the incessant bombing and shelling of the city killed a total of 17,000 people, while the bitter cold and the famine – as planned by the Germans through the disruption of utilities, water, energy and food supplies – took the lives of another 632,000. Meanwhile, 332,000 soldiers perished. Moreover, many of those who had been evacuated (1,400,000 more – mainly women and children) died during evacuation due to starvation and bombardment.
Historian Michael Walzer summarised that, “More civilians died in the Siege of Leningrad than in the modernist infernos of Hamburg, Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki taken together”. The Siege of Leningrad ranks as the most lethal siege in world history, and some historians speak of the Siege operations in terms of genocide, as a “racially motivated starvation policy” that became an integral part of the unprecedented German war of extermination against populations of the Soviet Union generally.
An article entitled “How Saint Petersburg survived the bloodiest blockade in human history” reported that in October of 2022, the Saint Petersburg City Court finally recognised the Siege as genocide. President Vladimir Putin remarked in November 2022: “Just recently, the blockade of Leningrad was also recognized as an act of genocide. It was high time to do it. By organising the blockade, the Nazis purposefully sought to destroy the Leningraders – everyone from children to the elderly. This is also confirmed, as I have already said, by their own documents.”
The article goes on to describe how President Putin, who was born ten years after the end of the Leningrad Siege, was himself directly affected by the tragedy: “At the beginning of the blockade, the one-and-a-half-year-old son of Vladimir Putin’s mother, Maria Ivanovna, was taken away for evacuation, but he never made it out of the city. According to the official account, the child, Viktor, died of an illness. The only notification his mother received about this was a death certificate. As the Russian leader himself said, she only managed to survive due to the fact that her husband, Putin’s father, had been wounded at the front and received augmented rations, which he passed on to his wife during her daily visits to the hospital. This continued until he fainted from hunger, and the doctors, who understood what was happening, forbade further visits. After leaving the hospital on crutches with a shattered leg, he nursed his wife, who had stopped walking from weakness. Vladimir Spiridonovich had fought on the Neva Bridgehead.” It was on the Neva Bridgehead that he “had had his heel and ankle shattered by a grenade, had to swim across the river and was only able to make it to the right bank with the help of a comrade-in-arms.”
* * *
Few important compositions have been performed under such ruthless circumstances as Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7. At the height of the horrors of the Siege conductor Karl Eliasberg, received orders to begin rehearsals of Dmitri Shostakovich’s Seventh Symphony with the Leningrad Radio Orchestra. The city had been under siege for so long that, of the original 40 members of the Leningrad Radio Orchestra, only 15 remained in the city, the rest were dead or fighting on the frontlines. An order had to be issued to soldiers at the battlefront, calling for anyone with musical ability to join the orchestra. In this way, the formation of the symphony united and inspired the people of Leningrad and demonstrated that the people of Leningrad would never give in to their enemies.
With winter temperatures below minus 30 degrees Celsius and no electricity or heating during the second winter of the Siege, the orchestra’s pianist Alexander Kamensky kept his hands warm by placing two piping hot bricks on both sides of the piano to radiate some heat. The conductor Karl Eliasberg was so weak he had to be driven to rehearsals on a sledge.
Oboist Ksenia Mattus, a survivor, had had to bring her instrument to a craftsman for repair as parts of it had decomposed after the first winter of the Siege. For payment the craftsman had asked her if she could find him a “pussycat” – for his next meal.
Flautist Galina Lelukhina, another survivor, remembers: “On hearing the radio announcement I took my flute under the arm and went. I entered and saw Karl Ilyich Eliasberg, looking dystrophic. He told me: ‘Do not go to the factory anymore. Now you will work in the orchestra’. We were few at first. Some people were brought in the sledge, others walked with a stick.”
The first rehearsal, on 30th March 1942, lasted twenty minutes as everyone was too feeble and exhausted to continue. Ksenia Mattus the oboist compared the conductor’s hand to “a wounded bird falling out of the sky“.
Members of the orchestra not only had to struggle for food each day, they also had to deal with the agonising deaths of loved ones.
As most of the surviving musicians were suffering from starvation, rehearsing was arduous: many collapsed frequently during rehearsals, and three even died in that period. Ultimately, the orchestra was able to rehearse the symphony all the way through only once before the concert.
Finally the big day arrived, and the half-starved musicians and their stalwart conductor Eliasberg gathered in Leningrad’s Grand Philharmonia Hall on 9th August 1942 for the grand premiere.
The performance of Shostakovich’s Seventh Symphony was symbolic in many ways. Hitler had planned a banquet in the Astoria Hotel on the 9th August 1942, the very day of the Leningrad premiere. But not only hadn’t the Germans been able to enter the city, no German air raids interrupted the performance and not a single bomb fell on the Grand Philharmonia Hall on that night although the building was illuminated.
“There were no curtains, and the light from inside the hall was pouring out of the windows into the night,” Trombonist Viktor Orlovsky recalled. “People in the audience were screwing up their eyes as they were no longer used to electric lights. Everyone was dressed in their finest clothes and some even had their hair done. The atmosphere was so festive and optimistic it felt like a victory.”
The performance was broadcast from loudspeakers around the perimeter of the city – both to hearten the Russian people and to convey to the Germans that surrender was out of the question.
For the concert empty chairs were placed in the orchestra to represent those musicians who had died before the performance could be given.
“The halls were always packed – at every performance, which I thought was extraordinary,” Trombonist Viktor Orlovsky went on to recall. “During the hardest period of the Siege, when people’s daily ration dropped to 125 grams of bread, some would exchange their daily meal for a ticket to our concert.” Many Leningraders who didn’t have a radio at home would gather on the streets to listen to orchestral music coming from the loudspeakers. It was an affirmation, an opportunity to rise above one’s physical weakness, fear and starvation.
The 9th of August, 1942, was “a day of the victory at the time of war,” as was described by celebrated Leningrad poet Olga Berggolts, one of the blockade survivors.
Olga Prut, director of “The Muses Weren’t Silent”, a St. Petersburg museum exhibition focusing on the arts during the Siege, said the phenomenon of that colossal dedication to the arts during the blockade was much more than a simple distraction from fears, hunger and solitude. “No one listens to music with such depth as those close to death… Music performs a miraculous transformation on a concentration camp prisoner or the hopelessly ill, turning the slave into a free man. It is an emotional rebirth.”
Many years after the end of the war the conductor Eliasberg was approached by a group of German tourists, who had been on the other side of the barricades and who had listened to his orchestra performing Shostakovich’s Seventh Symphony. They had come specifically to tell the conductor that back then on 9th August 1942 they realised they would never take Leningrad. Because, they said, there was a factor more important than starvation, fear and death. It was the will to stay human.
Tatiana Vasilyeva, a survivor of the Siege and a spectator of that legendary performance, was to later reminisce: “When I entered the hall, tears filled my eyes, because there were so many people, all in a state of elation. We listened with such emotion, because we had all lived for this moment – to come to the Philharmonia Hall, to hear this symphony. This was a living symphony – it’s the one we lived. This was our symphony. The Leningradskaia…”
* * *
This passionate work denounces the crimes of war and celebrates the just fight against evil and the people who persevere in the face of adversity. Commenting on the final movement of his symphony, “Victory”, Dmitri Dmitrievich Shostakovich said: “My idea of victory is not something brutal; it is best explained as the victory of light over darkness, of humanity over barbarism, of reason over reaction.”
This struggle continues till this day.
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“Shostakovich 7th Symphony”
This short video features: excerpts of Valery Gergiev conducting Shostakovich’s 6th and 7th symphonies; footage of the Siege /Blockade; Dmitry Shostakovich speaking briefly and playing part of the first movement of the Seventh Symphony (in 1941); statements of Shostakovich’s colleagues and survivors of the Siege.
Шостакович. Симфония № 7 “Ленинградская”
(Shostakovich – Simfonia n. 7 “Leningradskaia”)
* * * * *
http://www.researchhistory.org/2011/03/10/leningrad-bolshoi-symphony-orchestra/ – “Siege memories” by Galina Stolyarova – staff Writer Alexander Belenky / The St. Petersburg Times
Very touching and interesting!
Thank you very much / Спасибо!
Thank you so much for this piece. It moves me deeply. The depth of passion, and its capacity to triumph, displayed by the Russian people here, touches me with a wisdom and force deeper than than my mind alone can measure. The depth of feeling here is its own wisdom, and it bodes well for Russia in this ultimate world struggle. Thank you again
‘Leningrad’ is where violinists go to learn how to be fully human with a fully human soul, touched by God, shared with all, as intended by Shostakovich. The symphony is a great gift to the hearts of others, and it must be shared. It helps to have a heart for Russia, according to any musician I’ve met in any rehearsal of it.
Perhaps if it were dusted off and performed again for the current crop of so-called leaders, the Nazis could be tamped down and be done, for good. Music hath charms, and all that stuff, right?
Wonderful. Thank you so much.
For us now to realise that had Vladimir Putin’s parents not managed to survive the terrible siege of Leningrad, the world now would be in a much worse state.
Great article and great gift. I recently purchased a collection of all of Shostakovich’s symphonies and have been listening to Symphony #7 close to a dozen times, but I had never seen it performed, It is so much more powerful with the visuals! I recommend the book, “Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad”. by M.T. Anderson. Thank you again for posting and to Nora Hoppe for writing the article.
Excellent and very timely article. Enjoyed reading it while listening to Shostakovitch piece – the fall of Berlin. Wonder what made someone in the west come up with the idea of cancelling the Russian culture, seeing how much Russian artists, scientists, philosophers, writers… have contributed to the world throughout history. Even now the fate of the entire civilized world depends on when Russia will defeat those NATO-backed neonazis. We pray that Russia emerge victorious in the battle against the NATO and their proxies.
The worst is, that it is all planned. A little part of a much larger plan for total global domination by the Western Elites. In 1871 freemason Albert Pike wrote a letter about 3 planned world wars: https://archive.org/details/albert-pike-letter-to-mazzini. A little critical thinking about the first two world wars should give the result, that they indeed looks very planned. First all the alliances before the 1. ww, and then, when everything was ready, all was set off by a shot in Sarajevo. It seems, that the “age of regimechangeoperations” began in 1917 rather than after 1945 with the founding of the CIA: https://russia-insider.com/en/bloody-rehearsal-russias-1905-revolution-testing-strength-romanov-resilience/ri27779, https://russia-insider.com/en/history/western-media-and-elites-supported-bolsheviks-russian-civil-war-ugly-truth-emerges/ri25171. I think personally, that the western powers did it the same way as they are doing things today, they pretend to fight terrorism, but in reality they are supporting many terror organizations all over the world in secret: cynthiachung.substack.com/p/why-the-west-funds-terrorism, A good amount of western troops were sent to Russia to “help” fight the communist, revolutionary forces: https://britannica.com/event/Russian-Civil-War, if one should interpret the western pattern of today into that period, it is much more likely, that they hepled the revolution to succed. That fits into the 3 ww plan perfectly.
Also de financial devastation of Germany after ww1 was the perfect stage for extreme forces to come to power, and it seems, that Western finance was behind Hitler and his movement: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/sep/25/usa.secondworldwar?all=true, https://www.foxnews.com/story/documents-bushs-grandfather-directed-bank-tied-to-man-who-funded-hitler. It is well known, that if things are stirred up and chaos is created, it is easier to “grap the moment” and form a new structure out of this situation for futue use. Just as a curiosity but Hitler and his people came to power in Germany 4 years after the stock marked crash in 1929 and Poroshenko and his people came to power in 2014, in Ukraine, 6 years after the 2008 crash. They might not be directly related, even if the economic patterns of the 1929 crash and the 2008 crash look very similar in my view, just in a little different “areas of the economy”, so to say. They prepare things very well, to make syre, that everything turns out as desired and planned. All these German anschluss operations, remilitarization of the Rheinland, invasion of Austria, Sudetenland in Checkoslovakia, and finally the partition of Poland in the Molotov-Rippentorp agreement, to get a common border between USSR and Germany. It looks very “planned” actually and fits perfectly into the 3ww plan to secure a total USA + USSR dominance over Europe. Actually Germany and USSR worked well together before operation Barbarossa. In Narvik Norway, when the British and the French fought the Germans there, the only German oiltanker, Jan Wellem, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battles_of_Narvik to arrive to that port came from the “Base Nord”, that the Germans had in USSR next to Norway. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basis_Nord.
A lot of things in ww2 can be interpreted as “planned” in my view, even if it can also be “coincidences” of cause, but the Battle of Britain, where Hitler “got angry” over a British retaliation strike against Berlin and ordered the entire Luftwaffe tactics changed from bombing airfields to bombing cities, the march against Moscow, there Hitler ordered units from Army Group Center to go and reinforce army Groups North and South, capturing some prisoners, but delaying the assault on Moscow to it was too late, and loads of German equipmend froze and was ultimately lost in front of Moscow, when winter arrived. Also in the Pacific, with the Japanese not giving their soldiers sub machine guns for jungle fighting, and the Battle of Midway eg. with all 4 Japanese carriers at one spot for easy detection and destruction can be seen as planned. Also. Germany and Japan were allies, but the Germans never gave the Japanese Radar, that could have benn helpful in navy warfare, despite having radar them selves early in the war on ships, like Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, Bismarck and Tirpitz.
I could go on. There are a lot more to it than this, but it seems, that “The Cold War”, has been one long preparation for the “yet to come” third world war, that is supposed to give the total global domination to the Western Elites. Both the arms race, nuclear and conventional, the wars, specially the Vietnam War and the revenge Afghan War that weakened the USSR. Also the long term CIA focus on Ukraine, eg: https://cynthiachung.substack.com/p/how-the-ukrainian-nationalist-movement#details, the transfer of the Donetsk / Lughansk regions and Crimea to Ukraine by USSR, that is causing so much trouble today. It all gives better meaning, if it was “City of London” people sitting the the Kremlin at that time. Also the break up of USSR itself. To me it seems, that they were ordered to break it up, more than anything else. Maybe not so, that all of the leaders in the different republics were in on it, but those in Russia and Ukraine for sure were, as I see it, thus the trasnformation to oligarch rule and plunder pretty fast after the end of USSR.
They also broke up India and toppled Mossadeque in Iran, in the end leading to the islamic revolution. I am sure, that the West will attack Iran quite soon, but Russia is in the way, so they must take care of Russia first, getting a pro western governement installed, like the one of Yeltsin. That is also why I feel guite sure, that the West has plans about detonating a tactical nuclear weapon in Ukraine and blame it on Russia, to secure a regimechance due to global, harsh, lasting international pressure, and this way make sure, that this government can stay in power, weakening Russia, without being replaced by a Russia Nationalist governement. again.
This plan has been going for over 100 years, I feel sure about, and the Western Elites are not going to stop now, just because they meet some resistance on the battlefiends of eastern Ukraine, I guess that is for sure, but we will see. It is dangerous times, that we are living in. Also the Georgia Guidestones is very likely set up by these Western Elite people, to tell about their “end goal” for the planet in advance: https://creepycatalog.com/georgia-guidestones-a-complete-guide/ . That is how I see it. Maximum 500.000.000 million people on the planet eugenics and other good stuff. Everything is my own interpretation of history of cause.
The West, the West, is bankrupt morally and financially. Its proxy days are nearing an end, when the Wagner Boys & The Resistance Axis join forces and bring it to Big Daddy.
The party’s over for low-bar clueless ‘elite’ representation running this embarrassing western circus.
First off, excellent article by Nora. Then Tom, your comment is also excellent, WW1 was definitely planned and WW2 was just a continuation of WW2, with some funding and empowerment conveniently arranged for Hitler of course . But WW3 is a bit problematic. Albert Pike’s letter, assuming its not a hoax, specifically mentions that it will start between Israel and the Muslims. Yet neither of those sides has the industrial strength to wage effective war, both sides depend on the West and Russia for their armaments (so nice of the US to have given Israel nukes). Israel in fact can’t survive without America money, and while the WASP’s might want to die for the Jews, no-one on this planet wants to die for Muslims.
So it looks like WW3 will have to be between the West and Russia. But unfortunately the West is in no condition to fight a conventional war for long, it just does not have the industry for that anymore. As Smoothiex12 writes, the US faces either “defeat or nuclear war”.
So it looks like WW3, if it ever happens, will have to involve a certain country in the East. And what do you know, this country has been stupendously empowered by Globalization, it is in fact the biggest beneficiary of Globalization. This country also conveniently suffers from the same weakness Germany and Japan had, it doesn’t have the natural mineral resources for a prolonged conflict.
We live in interesting times indeed.
Whoops,my bad, seems Smoothiex12 was quoting the Saker there.
As am American, I can assure you that the average US citizen knows nothing of the siege of Leningrad. As a career military officer Cold War, I am grateful to the US Air Force of the 1970s and 1980s for introducing me to Russian culture md history. While it was biased, there was an effort to convey the strength of the Soviets being anchored in WWII and how deeply every citizen was affected by suffering and loss, and I was able to begin to dispel the myth that my own country had largely defeated the Nazis. I fear that post-Modern thinking and Wokeness has destroyed that quality of education. 30 years of incessant, anti-Russian propaganda has instilled a distorted view of Russia. Hatred of all things Russian is rampant among the Left and Neocons.
It was having two families join my church in 2002 that helped me further my education. One family was from the Ukraine and the other from Russia. I began to be able to appreciate the strengths of Russian culture and separate it from the communism that had plagued the USSR. The Slavic cultures are rich in tradition and family values. And as the West commits cultural society, it will be Russia that is the hope of all that was good in the West.
Still very moving, respect to mother Russia.
Can the author, or any others here, recommend a good biography of Shostakovich?
Thank You. Touching and inspirational article. Mind over Matter.
The US needs a similar scene to some of those depicted above in one of its major cities. If you’re observant, the US is in the early-middle stage of decay, rotting infrastructure, polluted/poisoned rivers, a drug/gmo riddled population, on life support.
When Russian does a full spring cleaning of the US-Zionist Nazi proxy army in Ukraine, who among the West will have the means or appetite to confront the New Boss?
Christ asked Pilot the following question : what is truth?
Perhaps it is the triumph of the spirit, east, west, north, and south.
Russia is for a future to which we are all headed, the good, the true, the beautiful, and the dammed alike.
Thank you for your article Nora!
That was really mindblowing, and very telling!
I would happily learn more of such outstanding humane achievemnets by the russian people.
This whole story cries for a movie, but maybe its just me, i have to admit, i was completely blown away by the story and the music!
Timely and very much apropos, this beautifully written piece deserves a lot more than a few paragraphs. It deserves a treatise. Unfortunately, time is limited for us nowadays, and a quote by one who was defeated by Russia encapsulates the spirit the article expands upon through Shostakovich.
Spirit is to the materiel, as three is to one.
Russia is now facing the Second Great Patriotic War, with the qualifier that “patriotic” as in defending the Fatherland extends to the planet, it is not just Russia. The fate and destiny of humanity are at stake in Ukraine. Orcs and Uruk-hai are gathering their forces around and against Russia, using Ukraine as a launch pad for its final destruction.
As Shostakovich showed us, the ultimate battle is that of the spirit.
Thank You, Sister Nora. I rarely comment, and I do not tear-up easily, but my eyes watered reading this.
Really well done, beyond interesting, fascinating. What great historical photos, sobering. What Stalin said in addressing the nation is just as true of today’s situation as it was then, that the entire world is looking to the Russian nation as the power capable of turning back the ‘American’ invaders, a Satanic force today equal to that of the then Fascist Germany. The transparent parallel is that just as then when the U.S. banking Wall St. powers that be funded and cultivated fascism in Germany for the express purpose of protecting ‘ Capitalism’ and the full exploitation of the working class, todays war in Ukraine is exactly the same dynamic, bought and paid for by U.S. interests with fascism cultivated and bottle fed inside of Ukraine since the WW2 theoretically ended in 1945, but obviously not ended, ongoing today, with the same Satanic Fascist elements steering the US ship of State. However sadly there is no need to bomb American cities as a drive through the many neighborhoods of big U.S. cities will reveal many scenes to rival the photos of Leningrad with people sleeping outside in the dead of winter, tent camping under bridges or wherever they can find space, the slow death from poverty while the U.S. Government constantly pisses away vital monies and energies on pointless wars that they provoke themselves on a useless military that has very little to do with proper ‘self defense.’
Thank you for the article depicting the true Russian spirit and appreciation of the cultural roots of Russia.
This is why the illicit Western elites are so cynically trying to cancel everything that truly matters for the Russians, starting from the Russian language, music and arts in general, the entire Russian culture!
It is so shameful and deeply embarrassing for all of us who live in the West and are forced to comply with the “Rules based order” that is an open manifestation of Fascism and Totalitarianism in general.