The Siege of Leningrad

I am reading Anna Reid’s book Leningrad about the three-year siege from 1941 to 1944. The suffering of these people was appalling. Mass starvation and reduction of people’s lives to a primitive struggle for a few grains of bread.

Of course, any problems you might have pale in comparison with such suffering. Certainly aged 61 I am lucky to have health, job, and family.

But what it drives home too is the terrible point: lessons of war. Hitler’s invasion of Russia was manic and cruel. What was he hoping to gain by invading a country just to destroy it? But all wars are terrible. They all have unforeseen consequences, however ‘just’ they seem at the time. Why can’t countries just mind their own business and manage their budget.

Today I went to a Eucharistic service in our local church. No priest was free. It was curiously simple and moving, just five or six of us, the laity doing, of course, everything apart from the Eucharistic prayer, but creating something beautiful. It is enough.