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The Presidential Library continues to illustrate siege diaries

19 March 2019

As part of a joint campaign to collect documents on the siege initiated by the Presidential Library, the newspaper Petersburg Diary and Radio Rossiya, we continue to illustrate the bright fates of Leningrad residents who lived in the besieged city and by their feat brought the Victory closer.

One of them is the author of the besieged diary Boris Molochnikov. When the war began, he was 17 years old, he was in school. But already in July 1941, a young man was mobilized for trench work, and in autumn they sent radio specialists to the Leningrad military school.

From the very beginning of the war, he has been keeping a diary, where he frankly describes all the burdens of life of that time.

“They give us bread 2 slices a day. 100 gr. Poorly. You always want to eat”, - says Molochnikov on November 21, 1941.

But even those “riches” that he has, Boris prefers to give to his mother.

Soon the young man’s health deteriorated sharply, and he was placed in a military hospital. From there he got into the 172nd Infantry Division, then again into the Leningrad military school of radio specialists and, finally, into the 167th Artillery Regiment of the Red Banner Infantry Pavlovsk Division.

These events correspond to different entries in the diary of Boris. “There was reconnaissance in force. Very successful. We captured 2 Fritz, a machine gun, a mortar, rifles, crates with mines”, - he said in June 1943 about how he went beyond the front line and participated in the operation for which he was awarded the medal “For the Defence of Leningrad”.

Until the end of the war, our hero was treated in hospitals. And in March of the victorious 1945, he met with his father, who served in the 1st Reserve Aviation Command of the Volga Military District and with whom there was no connection for almost four years. Of the whole Molochnikov family, the father and son were left alone, Boris’s mother and brother died during the siege.

Among the 2000 siege documents received by the Presidential Library since November last year, there are quite a few interesting ones. For example, a photograph of the war years with a driver leaning on the legendary lorry - GAZ-AA, helped blockade resident  Lyubov Stepanova more than 70 years later to find out what her father, whom she had never seen, looked like.

Earlier, the Presidential Library told about a letter to the past written by two residents of our city to its elder brother, who died during the siege.  

Special mention deserves the writings of Leningrad schoolchildren, written by them in the winter of 1941/42, as well as the siege diary, which the author of Two Captains Veniamin Kaverin once became interested in.

Let us add that with the participation of the Presidential Library in St. Petersburg, the Unified City Information Center, which coordinates the coverage of events dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the complete liberation of Leningrad from the Nazi siege has been established. The Presidential Library’s portal provides access to a virtual tour of the exhibition halls of the temporarily closed State Museum of Defence and Siege of Leningrad and get familiar with the electronic collection “Defence and Siege of Leningrad”, which includes official documents, periodicals, memories of Leningrad citizens, food cards, photo and newsreels.