From the 8th of September, 1941 through the 27th of January, 1944, Leningrad, today's St. Petersburg, was besieged by German as well as Finnish troops, in what is today known as the “Siege of Leningrad.” As a consequence of Germany's war of extermination and the deliberate starvation during these roughly 900 days, which are anchored in the history of the city and in the memory of Russia, claimed over an estimated 1.1 million lives in and around the city.
In memory of the victims of the blockade, participants in this summer camp will grapple with the varied and complex history of St. Petersburg and especially the painful period of the German blockade. Participants will help out in the apartments of survivors of the blockade, the blokadniki and blokadnitsas, in the Vyborg quarter and offer help with their everyday lives, including cleaning, shopping and other work.
The subject matter of the program includes learning about the blockade from working with literature, excursions to historically significant places, taking a look at art and culture life during the blockade and discussions and meetings with eyewitnesses.
Other possibilities include excursions to the surrounding areas and individual research tours in the “second capital” of Russia, the multicultural and lively metropolis that is often described as the “Venice of the North.” An excursion to Lake Ladoga is also planned.
In this year, the project will start in the outskirts of St. Petersburg, in the small town of Rachia. Here we will take the chance to learn about the blockade on site, get to know the importance of Lake Lagoda and its icy "Road of Life" and will carry out some light renovation and maintenance work at the local memorial site. Afterwards, we will head to the beautiful city center of St. Petersburg where we will spend the next 9 days together. Our comfortable hostel is located in a central area of St. Petersburg.