The most important event for all Leningrad residents, Blockade’s survivors and war veterans – solemn remembrance ceremony at Piskaryovskoe Memorial Cemetery. “Sankt-Peterburg” TV channel broadcasted it live.
As per tradition, flowers were also brought to building number 14 at Nevskiy Prospekt. Anna Bezkrovnaya reports on those and other memorial events.
Anna Bezkrovnaya, reporter: “Leningrad’s Victory Day – like a second birthday for our city. On this solemn and tragic day we remember those who gave their lives so that we could live in peace. January 27th began with a remembrance event at Piskaryovskoe Cemetery”
The line of people slowly moved towards the memorial. Everyone carrying candles and flowers. Many have relatives buried in the largest mass grave in the world. The Blockade is the tragedy which touched every family in Leningrad.
Albert Glushkin, resident of the Blockade Leningrad: “Many people’s parents are buried here. Two of my friends too. Two other friends died elsewhere – one in Prussia, another in Hungary. Im the only one still alive from the five of us. Like an antiquity”
That day, January 27th 1944, still brings tears to the eyes of those who survived the Blockade. Tears of sorrow – because of the losses – and tears of joy that all this nightmare was over.
Valentina Kuznetsova, resident of the Blockade Leningrad: “It was a great joy. We were running around and feeling happy. We had been carrying sand upstairs and helping out in any way we could – all throughout the war. Went to the river to get water”
And, of course, listened to the radio. The voice of the Blockade’s muse gave the people hope that they would survive. An event dedicated to Olga Berggoltz took place by the placard dedicated to the poet at Italyanskaya street.
Flowers were brought to another placard – saying “Citizens! This side of the street is most dangerous during artillery fire” – at Nevskiy 14. Many people still pass it with shivers.
Nina Barkovskaya, resident of the Blockade Leningrad: “During this week, when I go to bed, I keep reminiscing the Blockade. From beginning to end. All night long. What can you do? We survived it and cannot forget it. I pray to God that our great-grandchildren won’t have to live through something like that”
A unique interactive exhibition was opened in St. Petersburg – to keep the memory of our ancestors alive forever. The entire city with buildings destroyed by bombs, hospitals and authentic military gear from those days.
Georgiy Poltavchenko, Governor of St. Petersburg: “Its very important that this memory is alive in the hearts of all of us. The center which we are opening today contributes to keeping it alive. Centers of patriotic upbringing. I’m sure that boys and girls, residents of Leningrad and St. Petersburg, will visit it.
The atmosphere of the war years was recreated at Capella’s backyard – at the “900 days and nights” event. Wooden crosses symbolize the horrors of the Blockade and the courage of the people who never gave up and did everything to ensure that day 74 years ago arrived.
Nikolay Nosov, resident of the Blockade Leningrad: “It was a happy day. I remember it for the first fireworks show in Lenigrad – after the Blockade was lifted. My aunt worked at “LenEnergo” and I came there in the morning, took a place next to those guns and watched the people prepare for this memorable show”
And today thousands of people will watch the fireworks. The one marking 74 years since the end of the Blockade. Even after all these years nobody has been forgotten in Leningrad. Nothing has been forgotten.