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You, Unstuck by Seth Adam Smith

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4The Leningrad Symphony

It was the summer of 1941, and the Nazis were tearing through Russia, destroying everything in their path. Adolf Hitler pompously declared that by August 9, 1942, he and the Nazis would celebrate the taking of Leningrad (the present-day St. Petersburg) in the city’s Hotel Astoria.

By early September, the Nazis had surrounded Leningrad, blockading the city and cutting off its main arteries for food, supplies, communication, and reinforcements. But the city’s three million inhabitants (which included roughly four hundred thousand children) refused to surrender. Thus began an 872-day siege of catastrophic death and famine. By the war’s end, the number of deaths in Leningrad outnumbered those who died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ...

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