To the Person in private Yakov I. Gilinskij , 84 years of age. Born in Leningrad, now Saint Petersburg. A survivor of the Blockade of Leningrad by Hitler’s troops from the 8. September 1941 to 27. January 1944 was encircled. After the war he studied law and is now a Professor of criminology and criminal law at two St. Petersburg universities.
MIRROR ONLINE: 75 years ago Today, was freed in Leningrad. You were a child, nine years old. How do you remember this day?
Yakov Gilinskij: it was a day of joy. We, my parents, my aunt, my Cousin, my grandmother were happy, as we learned from the Radio that the Blockade has come to an end. Our life, however, remained still for a long time is very difficult. It was a war. Hunger and the cold remained. Up to minus 40 degrees, the Thermometer fell.
MIRROR ONLINE: 872 days besieged by Hitler’s troops in the city were starving, more than a Million people died. How have you experienced this terrible time?
Gilinskij: I was a school boy, understood exactly what happened. It all happened in front of our eyes: people starved to death. In almost every family someone died or was seriously ill. People have lost power, could barely move. Bucket of water from the pump to drag the street our home was on an empty stomach is a great feat. I know that in our house in the Krasnoarmejskaja street was once the ground floor is the corpse of a man. No more had the strength to remove him. At some point, has been someone of the municipal administration to him.
MIRROR ONLINE: there Were Deaths in your family?
Gilinskij: Our family was one of the great exceptions, at us nobody has died. Probably this was due to my father, the Deputy head of a military hospital. My mother and my aunt worked as nurses. So, we had medications and vitamins.
Dead after a fire on a street in Leningrad in 1941
MIRROR ONLINE: What there was to eat at all?
Gilinskij: bread, we were given only in very small quantities. We were constantly hungry. Sometimes my mother and my aunt were able to buy ingredients that were actually used for the production of horse feed. We made cookies and took them with vitamin rich dried fruits. We also cooked paste.
MIRROR ONLINE: paste?
Gilinskij: Yes, a terrible meal, in order to get something in the belly. To the taste, I can’t remember, but the color: the Finnish yellow, the Russian black. It was possible to buy almost always. You could just eat very little of it, otherwise we would have made us the stomach is broken.
MIRROR ONLINE: How you have managed in all the time the Hunger hide?
Gilinskij: was almost impossible . I’ve been trying to distract myself, I read a lot, classics of Russian literature such as Turgenev, Lermontov and Pushkin. At home we had many books. There was no electricity, so I had to light oil Lamps.
the injured children in a hospital in Leningrad in 1943,
MIRROR ONLINE: of Leningrad was bombed and strafed. How often this happened?
Gilinskij: In the first time of the siege, virtually every day, especially at night. We had to find in an air-RAID shelter in the house of refuge. This was not harmless, because this road was under artillery fire. Hitler’s units fired on the hills of Leningrad from the southern Pulkovo. A lot of the time, I was no longer in the basement. I was sick with typhoid fever. We had to wait in our apartment, when Leningrad was attacked from the air.
MIRROR ONLINE: Many Survivors find it difficult to talk about the experience. You tell a very factual and calm about this time.
Gilinskij: I don’t need to remind me every day of the Blockade. I’ve written down experiences, it was a very formative time. But we live, work, I have experienced many others. Today I teach as a Professor at two universities.
MIRROR ONLINE: you have also held in Germany, Lectures. How hard like to you?
Gilinskij: During the war, Germany was the enemy. We all wanted to destroy Germany and defeat, we have so much Heavy suffering. But I do know that Hitler’s Germany and the Stalinist Soviet Union were totalitarian terrible States. As in 1945 and 1946, some of the German war, had to repair prisoners streets in our city and to cigarettes asked, we have given you. The were people.
soldiers at the Parade in St. Petersburg
MIRROR ONLINE: takes place Today in the centre to 75. Anniversary of the liberation of the city, a large memorial service with military parade took place, thousands of soldiers participate. You are against it, have signed Thousands of petitions. Why?
Gilinskij: I signed the letter to the Governor from time to time because to me, the militarization of the people to be outraged. Again and again, is spoken in our country about the war. Again and again we are reminded by our government and our authorities that we should prepare ourselves for the war. Our children will receive the uniforms you order and medals will be awarded, toy weapons in the Hand pressed. You learn that you have to fight, this is very scary. This militarization of the consciousness of the people, I think, entirely inadmissible, and it is a terrible crime of our Power.
MIRROR ONLINE: Why is Putin so important, great parades?
Gilinskij: This is a political question, therefore, I would like to say only this much: Our President believes that we need to expand our military strength and a show, because it makes our country great. I don’t think that’s right. Humanity has already made so many wars, so many people died. War is terrible, we shouldn’t glorify them. Peace should be the theme, especially in times of nuclear weapons.
soldiers in the 75. Anniversary of the liberation of the city
MIRROR ONLINE: What kind of memory would you wish for?
Gilinskij: concerts on the Radio would be nice to have a minute of silence for the victims, Meet with us Survivors.
MIRROR ONLINE: What will you do on this anniversary?
Gilinskij: I stay at home and write my books and essays. Later, I’ll have a drink with my wife a glass of red wine.
employees: Tatiana Sutkovaja