VOLKOVA E.Yu. Situation of Leningrad Children Evacuated from the Besieged City in Yaroslavl Region (1941–1945)

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2020.1.5 

Elena Yu. Volkova

Doctor of Sciences (History), Associate Professor, Professor,

Department of History, Kostroma State University,

Dzerzhinskogo St., 17, 156005 Kostroma, Russian Federation

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Abstract. Introduction. The siege of Leningrad is one of the most tragic pages in the history of the Great Patriotic War. The whole country took part in helping residents of the besieged city. Yaroslavl Region was one of the leading places where tens of thousands of children were evacuated.

Methods and materials. The author seeks to implement the principles of scientific objectivity and reliability. The article is based on the memories of eyewitnesses of those years and archival materials. The author had an invaluable help in understanding the atmosphere in which children lived through confidential conversations with survivors of the blockade. Their stories are shocking in their naked truth. The author uses the comparative historical method in disclosing new, qualitative aspects of the problem under study. The hermeneutic method is used in the analysis of various sources: archival materials, memories, letters, first of all, based on time and reasons for the appearance of a particular source. The anthropological approach to the problem makes it possible to create a socio-psychological portrait of children, who by fate turned out to be far from their home, to recreate a picture of their life and everyday life.

Analysis. It includes the problems associated with the children evacuation in July–August 1941 and especially in winter–spring 1942, raises the issue of child mortality and the perpetuation of their memory.

Results. A major role in the organization of children’s life was played by the party and the Soviet leadership. The article notes that ordinary workers and collective farms took the successful solution of domestic problems of orphans. They provided children with everything they needed: home, food, clothes, shoes, dishes, etc. In addition, citizens took children on patronage and adoption. The methods of educational work with them had changed, where one of the main directions was the inculcation of labour skills: children worked in their farms, helped collective farms, cleaned their homes, were engaged in needlework, worked in workshops, etc. The desire to live and create was instilled in Leningrad by attracting citizens to participate in art performances. Big problems are connected with statistical data, in particular, different sources give different numbers of children living on the territory of Yaroslavl region: from 90 to 150 thousand. It is almost impossible to count the number of dead children, so the established monuments to small Leningraders, as a rule, are nameless. After the lifting of the blockade some children returned to Leningrad, and some linked their destinies with Yaroslavl land.

Key words: Leningrad, blockade, children, Yaroslavl region, orphanages, party and Soviet leadership.

Citation. Volkova E.Yu. Situation of Leningrad Children Evacuated from the Besieged City in Yaroslavl Region (1941–1945). Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2020, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 59-69. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2020.1.5.

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Situation of Leningrad Children Evacuated from the Besieged City in Yaroslavl Region (1941–1945) by Volkova E.Yu. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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