|Birth: ||Jan. 25, 1930|
Saint Petersburg Federal City, Russia
|Death: ||Jul. 1, 1944|
Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, Russia
Russian child diarist. Tatyana Nikolayevna Savicheva, (Russian: Татья́на Никола́евна Са́вичева) usually known as Tanya Savicheva, was a brave young girl who became famous in her country by recording the cruel loss of almost her entire family and thereby giving additional undeniable evidence to the extremely terrible siege of Leningrad (Saint Petersburg) which was later used at the Nuremberg Trials. Her father, Nikolay Rodionovich Savicheva, was a baker by profession and her mother, Mariya Ignatievna Savicheva, a highly skilled seamstress and Tanya was the youngest of their five children. She had two sisters, Zhenya and Nina, and two brothers, Mikhail and Leka. Tanya was much loved by them all. The Savicheva family were all very musical and her mother created a family ensemble: her two brothers played the guitar, mandolin and banjo and Tanya, who possessed a sweet voice, sang with the rest of the family as a choir. Tragically, her father died when Tanya was only six years old. It then fell to her mother to support the family by sewing and she made good money with her wonderful skill at the Leningrad House Of Fashion. Tanya also learnt to sew and her favourite was to embroider flowers. When, on June 22, 1941, the Axis forces suddenly invaded the Soviet Union though her family were about to spend the summer in the countryside they decided to remain in Leningrad to be of assistance. Only Mikhail was not among them as he had already gone due to a family quarrel. From then on the whole family including 11 year old Tanya worked extremely hard to assist the defense of their city. Her mother, Mariya, sewed uniforms, Leka worked at the Admiralty Plant, Zhenya worked at the munitions factory, Nina worked at the vital construction of the city defenses and Tanya at digging trenches and putting out incendiaries which had fallen onto buildings. Nina failed to come home one day and is the reason the diary came into existence. Although Nina had in fact needed to be immediately evacuated while at work her family thought her dead. And so her mother gave Tanya her sister's tiny notebook as a tender momento. She had already kept a real diary but in the bitterly cold conditons burnt it for heat in the stove so this became a substitute. The first entry was the heroic death of her sister, Zhenya, on December 28, 1941. Zhenya would begin her long day early by walking the 7 kilometres (nearly 4 1/2 miles) to the munitions factory and on the day she died worked two shifts and then donated blood. Her weakened body gave way and she died at the factory. There was almost no food just 250 grams for soldiers and manual workers and 125 grams for everyone else per day issued by ration card of increasingly indigestible "bread" which became 50% to 60% sawdust as grain ran out, oozed water to increase weight and resembled loam. Not long after Tanya's grandmother, Evdokiya Grigorievna, died and then her brother, Leka. Then her uncle Vasya and uncle Lesha. Finally her mother died on May 13th, 1942. Her last entry states: "Everyone died. Only Tanya is left". The siege of Leningrad lasted from September 8, 1941 until January 17, 1944. For 2 1/2 years the inhabitants and defenders most bravely suffered and endured dire starvation and constant shelling. Tanya was finally rescued from Vasil'yevskiy Island, Leningrad where she had been living in August, 1942 and along with 140 other children taken to the small village of Krasny Bor, Nizhny Novgorod Oblast. However, her poor state of health worsened and in May 1944 she was moved from the orphanage to nearby Shatkovsky hospital. Although doctors did all they could to save her she died there on July 1 from intestinal tuberculosis. She never knew that her seperated older sister, Nina, and brother, Mikhail, though the latter was badly injured, had in fact survived. Indeed, it was Nina who discovered and rescued the diary from the ruins after returning home. This kind and important act gave her sister recognition in the hearts of generations of decent people. The diary of Tanya Savicheva has become a symbol in Russia of the great suffering and loss of life endured by the Soviet Union during the siege of Leningrad and is now proudly kept at the St. Petersburg Museum Of History and a copy displayed at the Piskaryovskoye Memorial Cemetery, Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Короткую жизнь. Гордую и красивую память. Я пошлю вам много счастье и любовь с моей молитвами!
Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, Russia
Maintained by: MPM77
Originally Created by: Timothy Purnell
Record added: Oct 19, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 60320159