Cover Osteuropa 8-9/2011

In Osteuropa 8-9/2011

Black Light
The Darkness in Besieged Leningrad

Polina Barskova

Deutsche Fassung


The siege blacked out Leningrad. Public lighting was turned off; chipboard in windows prevented inside lighting from getting out. The darkness imposed its daily rhythm on Leningraders; at the same time, it hid the city from the view of German combat pilots. It lamed everyday life, which nonetheless continued to function. Darkness is a central topos of many literary testimonies from the besieged city.

(Osteuropa 8-9/2011, pp. 249–264)