Today, the story of the siege is often neglected — especially in the immensely broad picture of World War II — but it deserves a more central position in the canvas. No other civilian population suffered as much as the inhabitants of Leningrad, who endured terrible extremes of famine, bombardment and severe cold. It is hard to imagine what young dancers lived through and how they looked with their bones showing through the wrinkled skin. Thanks to Tamara Bogdanova’s diary we can focus on those mundane moments in the life of a girl who stayed in a used-to-be a bustling center of life and culture but turned into a place of famine cold.

In 2010 Boston University’s Mugar Library put on display a unique exhibit celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of prima ballerina Galina Ulanova. This exhibit was put together by the former Russian dancer, Tamara Bogdanova, now living in Boston, who had danced with the world renowned Galina Ulanova in the 1940’s.

In 2017 BU Russian program in collaboration with Educational Bridge Project and its founder Ludmilla Leibman organized an event “Leningrad Siege Diary” dedicated to Tamara Bogdanova’s book of memoirs. Students in Advanced Russian class worked on translation of excerpts from the book. We visited Tamara Bogdanova in her Boston home, took an interview with her and got books signed by her for students who performed translation and read excerpts from the book to the audience.



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