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The Blockade Swallow

The Blockade Swallow

9781838465360
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Olga Berggolts (1910-1975) was a Soviet poet, playwright and journalist, whose daily broadcasts on Leningrad radio during the Nazi blockade of the city (1941-44) became a symbol of the city's refusal to surrender. One and a half million people starved to death during the siege, including Berggolts’ husband. In 1943 she was awarded the Defence of Leningrad medal. After the War, the publication of Berggolts’ writings about the suffering of ordinary Leningraders were an important part of the Khrushchev Thaw. The Leningrad memorial to those who died during the Blockade quotes her famous line, ‘No one is forgotten, nothing is forgotten’. The Blockade Swallow is a representative selection of Berggolts’ work from 1925-60 – the NEP years, the Terror (when she was imprisoned for two years), War and Blockade, to the Zhdanovchina and the Thaw, bearing eloquent witness to some of the most tragic events of the twentieth century. Veniamin Gushchin’s translations beautifully capture the defiance, anguish and vulnerability of her poetry for English readers.