How a Doll Saved a Girl During the Leningrad Blockade?

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This is a story about a doll. About a rather ugly doll with painted eyes. You would have disdained for taking such a doll into your hands. But one girl wouldn’t let go of it.

During the siege, this little girl was evacuated from Leningrad. Her name was Lenochka. And she forgot her last name, she was so small and exhausted. She lost her whole family; her mother, her grandmother, her older brother…

And she was found by a special team of emaciated girls -back then they walked around the living quarters in the terrible winter blockade, looking for children whose parents had died or were dying…

They found Lenochka and were able to send him to evacuation. She didn’t remember the children being driven in a jolting truck over the ice, she didn’t remember how she got to the orphanage; she was small. Like an emaciated dwarf with a big head on a thin neck…

And she didn’t want to eat any more. This happens with dystrophy. She was lying in bed or sitting on a chair by the stove. She was warming herself. And she was silent.

They thought that Lenochka would die. many children had died already in the evacuation; severe exhaustion, and no strength to live and eat. and play. And breathe…

Uncle Kolya’s Magic

And the one-legged stoker, front-line soldier Uncle Kolya, about 20-years-old, rolled a doll out of an old towel. Somehow he cut it, rolled it up, sewed it, and it turned out to be an ugly doll. He drew on the doll’s eyes and mouth with a chemical pencil. And a squiggle nose.

He gave the doll to Lenochka and said seriously: “You, Lenochka, cradle the doll. And teach her to eat well! You’re the doll’s mother now. And take better care of her. She’s sick and weak. She’s not even crying!”

And this Lenochka suddenly clung to the doll and pressed it to her. She began to cradle and stroke it with her thin hands. And at dinner, she fed the doll porridge, whispered something affectionate to her.

She ate porridge and a piece of bread – they were not fed fancy food during the evacuation…

Well, Lenochka slept with the doll, and warmed it at the stove, hugged it and busied herself with the doll – an ugly doll made from an old towel with painted eyes…

… The girl survived. Because she couldn’t die; she had to take care of the doll, you know?

Having to take care of someone is a huge life force for some people.

For people like this girl. Who became a nurse later and lived a long life. And her hands were always busy. And the heart is filled…

Anna Kiryanova (based on a true story)

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