I recall a film of some years ago that took place during the siege of Leningrad, but I never really knew how comprehensive and devastating an episode it was. Then, a couple weeks ago, my book club chose a novel where the siege was part of the plot line - though the book wasn’t very good, it did prompt me to pick up a couple more novels set around the era, and reading some of the historical background.
Basically, during WWII, Leningrad was attacked by Germany and the prolonged blockade, exacerbated by the city’s geography and the severe winter, resulted in mass starvation and a death toll that may have exceeded a million. The descriptions of what the citizens endured was devastating. If you’re not familiar with this WWII episode, I recommend Salisbury’s “The 900 Days” or Helen Dunmore’s novel (which wasn’t our book club pick) “The Siege.”