Now and Then - Nevsky prospekt

Nevsky 68 siege Leningrad destroyed house

Prospekt of the 25th of October, Leningrad. Summer 1942 / Nevsky prospekt, St. Petersburg. March 2021

The house #68 on the Prospekt of the 25th of October which can be seen on this picture was severely damaged by an HE bomb in November 1941. After the war it was the only house on the main street of St. Petersburg which was not reconstructed but demolished and a new Stalinist Neoclassical building was built in its place.

From the diary of Cherkasova-Chernyavskaya Nadezhda Petrovna, 19. Junior nurse in a Leningrad hospital.

Diary entry from November 21, 1941:

"War... I'm writing this in the evening, at about 9pm. Air raid. AA guns are firing. I'm sitting in a resting room of my hostel on Zhelyabova [now Bol'shaya Konyushennaya] street. Around 20 minutes ago an HE bomb fell, the rumour has it, on the corner of the Nevsky and Zhelyabova street, which is quite close to me. Our house started wobbling. What a coward am I! I didn't even expect myself to be like that! I ran downstairs, but then returned in 5 minutes. The blow was so hard I was even surprised why the ceiling didn't collapse from such impact.

Yesterday bread rations were reduced to 125 grams per day. I was surprised no one even talked about it in advance at all.

There are shell bursts all around again... Some say it's easier at the front than here, in the city. Few people die here from the shellings than at the front, or fewer. But more people die in collapsing buildings. But maybe this is only what the people who have never been at the front say...

I'm not getting a lot of practice: I keep doing the same thing as on the first day. On November 19 I washed one patient in a bathtub and then I accompanied the doctor on his morning inspection of hospital wards. That's about it. Girls talk about the wounded, giggling, they tell about their sympathies and love interests. I gave myself a resolution not to have any love affairs in the hospital. A member of the Young Communist League must not allow herself such frivolities."


Here is my Instagram page where I post these pictures. If you'd like to see them all as a collection, check it out. https://www.instagram.com/siegeofleningradtour/

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