The diary of a teenaged Russian schoolgirl who survived the 872-day siege of Leningrad during World War II has been published for the first time, leading some to compare her to Anne Frank.
Historians and literary experts have hailed the publication of Lena Mukhina’s diary, published in Russian under the title “Keep my Sad Story,” as a sensation in both its vividness and the quality of the writing, according to The Telegraph.
But unlike Anne, the Jewish teen who died in a Nazi concentration camp, Lena survived World War II despite being subjected to one of the worst sieges in human history. As many as 1.5 million people perished during the siege, which began in September 1941 and didn’t end until January 1944.
Lena was 16 when she began her diary; she suffered starvation, survived countless Nazi bombing raids and witnessed the death of her mother.
An interesting question is asked by blogger The Literate Pen: “When did our world become so unsafe that we have to regulate everything when it comes to our children.”
The Pen illuminates myriad examples of how life has changed – particularly when it comes to parenting – over the past 40 years. It’s a well-written, interesting read that looks back barely more than a generation, yet in some respects seems as far removed as the days of antebellum balls and dueling.
Some of The Literate Pen’s reminisces are downright funny:
I was raised in the late 1960’s and the 1970’s. My parents drove Buick automobiles, BIG Buick coupes with no seatbelts in them until about 1974. Six kids could ride comfortably in them and you could even stand up in the back seat while it was barreling down the highway and hang over the front or ride in the front seat itself if you wanted to. The airbag existed but it was an experimental product and I never knew anybody that had one. People smoked everywhere, in cars, offices, their homes…even in airplanes. I remember Dad and Mom taking us to California when I was thirteen and well over half of the plane was a smoking section (like you could really separate the non-smokers from the smoke in a pressure sealed airplane).