65 years ago, was to lift the blockade of Leningrad
January 29, 2009 12:42 PM   Subscribe

Every day we go on to the streets, dying at his defenders who thought about us. About us, that they were not destined to see. But we can remember!

And imagine that the horror that the people was to survive.

WWII era Photographs, I assume, of Leningrad combined with current photographs. This era has also recently been portrayed effectively by David Benioff in his novel City of Thieves. Found the pictures via Warren Ellis who thinks the photographer may be Sergei Larenkov.
posted by zzazazz (16 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
This is great.
posted by cowbellemoo at 12:51 PM on January 29, 2009 [1 favorite]

Wow. Gently and beautifully done.
posted by thatbrunette at 12:59 PM on January 29, 2009

A great post. It is stuff like this that keeps me coming back to MeFi even when I am pissed off with it. Thanks. I've never seen anyone use that technique before.

Also, what are the blimp/zeppelin type things? Anti-aircraft defences maybe?
posted by ClanvidHorse at 1:14 PM on January 29, 2009

Yup, barrage balloons.
posted by brassafrax at 1:19 PM on January 29, 2009

Warren Ellis thinks they're Stalingrad (now Volvograd). Anyone speak Russian?
posted by Happy Dave at 1:38 PM on January 29, 2009

Ленинграда is Leningrad. From what I understand, there wouldn't be as much similarity between contemporary photos of Stalingrad and wartime photos.
posted by Tullius at 1:43 PM on January 29, 2009

Amazing. Thank you for the link!
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:47 PM on January 29, 2009

From what I understand, there wouldn't be as much similarity between contemporary photos of Stalingrad and wartime photos.

My impression is that Stalingrad was destroyed much more completely, as it endured a lengthy siege. All the wartime photos of it I've seen are of mostly rubble with the odd chimney & wall.

Interesting how much of Leningrad/Whateveritscallednow has endured.
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:11 PM on January 29, 2009

Amazing and moving. Thank you.
posted by jokeefe at 2:16 PM on January 29, 2009

It's of st Petersburg (which in WWII indeed was Leningrad). Or atleast some of the photos are. The three before last are of Peter the great's statue found on the bank of the neva. (unless there's a copy in Stalingrad)
Nevertheless, great pics.
posted by stFire at 2:24 PM on January 29, 2009

Devil Rancher - a large reason why Leningrad survived the war was that the Germans never sought to assault the city and get bogged down in urban combat, as they did in Stalingrad. Instead, they blockaded it for nearly three years and drove some of the inhabitants towards cannibalism.
posted by bl1nk at 2:41 PM on January 29, 2009

What a magnificent technique! I hope it catches on, and talented copycats do it just as well for every city in the world. (And these pictures are all unquestionably Leningrad/Petersburg, comrades.) Very moving.
posted by Faze at 3:45 PM on January 29, 2009

These pictures, while astounding, also make me wonder about how history is used. Why specifically compare modern scenes with their siege/WWII counterparts? It might also be interesting to compare modern St Petersburg with photos taken in the 18th century.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:23 PM on January 29, 2009

Let me set my customary snark about Warren Ellis asside and say wow, because these are utterly amazing.

And yes, that's St Petersburg. I can thoroughly recommend the Museum of the Leningrad siege. After seeing a brief mention in a guidebook I led my poor wife through slushy snow and what turned out to be a near-blizzard conditions so we could have a look at it, suffering footwear failures along the way and arriving after sunset - this turned out to be a good mood setter.

Inside everything was in Russian with a minimum of English signage, so the museum attendants, ancient babushka types, enthusiastically led us around and told us the story of the siege. The didn't speak English either, so somehow They were very, very old to be working in a museum (not uncommon, since gangster-capitalists ate all the state apparatus that was to keep them in old age, so you see a lot of old ladies at coat stands in museums), and after a while we started wondering if they could have been old enough to be there. They certainly really hated the Germans in a way that surpassed the academic.

The siege was harsh. Corpse eating harsh. Baby eating harsh. Rats and cats were distant happy memories for those guys.

After the tour they offered us the opportunity to pose with rusty old machine-guns and have our pictures taken, which usually I'd be up for like a shot, but the siege had put a downer on it, so we tipped heavily and left instead. Then we drank lots of vodka in a basement bar decorated to look like the inside of a submarine.
posted by Artw at 10:23 AM on January 30, 2009

Re-posted at English Russia now with a bit of commentary translated into English, seems the artist is Sergei Larenkov. Superb concept.
posted by Abiezer at 10:32 AM on January 30, 2009

by chance come across this a minute ago. historic value possibly less.
posted by pita at 5:50 PM on January 30, 2009

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