Blockade of Leningrad (1941-1943). 75 years ago. We remember.
In the besieged city - the city, where for a long time lived and worked N.I.Vavilov, was the first blockade winter. Norms of bread have been reduced to the impossible: to a working people - 250 grams per day, the rest - 125 grams. People became mad from hunger, fell on the go, dying of exhaustion.
And at this time in the dark cold room at St. Isaac's Square, in a house with boarded up windows were full of food. The boxes and bags lay dozens of tons of seed potatoes. But the staff of Institute of Plant Industry, who worked and slept fitfully beside, were just as hungry and exhausted, like all the people of Leningrad. They raved about the food, and yet none of them even came up with the idea to eat at least a handful of grain, to save their life.
Perhaps, in these times it is difficult to understand, but they knew what they were doing. They took care of the cold - 40 C and flocks of rabid rats the priceless heritage of the State - a unique collection of cultivated plants and their wild relatives. Who had no equal in the world, collected by gigantic efforts collection numbered more than 200,000 precious samples.
Could hardly stand on feet, emaciated, frostbitten closest colleague of Vavilov,Vadim Stepanovich Lehnovich risked his life, under a fire was producing firewood for the salvation of collection. He was the soul of that tiny courageous team. About those tragic days and years later Lehnovich remembered, worrying:
- It was difficult to walk ... Yes, it was unbearable difficult to up arms and legs, to move ... And do not eat the collection - it was not hard. Not at all ! Because it was impossible to eat. The point of all life, of lives of our comrades ...
28 employees staff of the Institute, have died from the hunger during the blockade, but no grain or potato tuber is not lost. This feat of the Soviet people should be discussed separately, it is necessary to tell at schools, but, unfortunately, today's media owners do not interested in it.
And half a century later on St. Isaac's Square there was an unusual plaque on a wall Institute of Plant Industry. It is engraved in gold letters: "To a scientists of Institute, heroically preserved the global collection of seeds during the Siege of Leningrad".
The impetus for the rapid career Vavilov, who dreamed all his life to full feed the humanity, was the hunger, that hit after the Revolution of the young Soviet republic.
In 1921, when the Volga broke out a severe drought, the Labor and Defense Council, chaired by V.I. Lenin made the decision with a view to the future. With the money, collected from scarce reserves of the country, in the United States for the purchase of seeds sent to a special commission...With a young Vavilov. After hie visit there he decided to collect the seeds. For a future of country, maybe, of the World.
Vavilov shortly before traveling to the United States has made a real revolution in biology. In his book "The Laws of development of the living world" for the first time, he has proved, that there is also a pattern of plants in the world - similar to the famous Table of D.I. Mendeleev. According to this rule, world centers of origin of cultivated plants spread across the planet. In fact, Vavilov theoretically predicted, where and what you can find.
Nikolai Ivanovich with a small group of employees traveled five continents, gathered the most comprehensive in the world collection of seeds of cultivated plants and their wild relatives. It includes the seeds, collected in 110 expeditions.
That's it so heroically took care Institute employees in the besieged city ...
P.S. "The Unknown War..." ? THIS War WE know. }:-/