Escape from Besieged Leningrad and Perilous Journeys

This letter has been found in the papers of my Washington housing owner Lisa Ritchie. Its author experienced not only the hell of besieged Leningrad, but also imprisonment in a Nazi concentration camp, an escape from it and then a journey along Germany in the last months before the collapse of the Third Reich. The original text is a typescript in English, in British spelling. It has five pages, but since the third page, the pagination starts from the beginning. The letter is not signed, but Lisa thinks it was sent to her grandmother Elizavietta Hartmann Artamonoff by one of her friends soon after the Second World War had finished (the Artamonoff family moved from Russia to the USA in the early 1920s, but Lisa’s grandmother could leave the USSR only in 1933).

Below is the text of the letter with Lisa’s introduction and my comments (all of them are put in square brackets or placed in the endnotes). The author’s spelling and punctuation are kept without any change except obvious misprints. I kept also the original paragraphs, although in a newspaper publication of the letter, Lisa divided some of them into more short ones (she mentions this in her introduction).

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