Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.

Posts tagged “war time

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An old woman who fled the war zone with her cow, sits on a bench in Amiens, France; March 28th, 1918

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Belle the hippo during the siege of Leningrad, 1943.

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“Belle survived the war thanks to her caretaker, Yevdokia Dashina. In 1941 water was turned off throughout the city and Belle’s pool was empty, so her skin began to dry out and crack. Every day, Dashina would drag a 40-liter barrel of water from the Neva river and rub the suffering hippo with camphor oil. Eventually, Belle’s skin healed and she was able to hide underwater through the air raids.” (Source)

*In this case, none of the zoo animals were eaten, but some, like Betty the elephant, died during the air strikes (sad picture warning!) Most of the cats and rats were indeed eaten, unfortunately.

*An adult hippo night should receive from 36 to 40 kg of feed. But during the blockade she ate 4-6 kg of a mixture of herbs, vegetables and press cake, adding there 30 kg filings, just to fill her stomach. (The zoo workers also shared their rations with the animals.) If you see this picture of Belle from 1935 you can tell that she lost a lot of weight. So she probably didn’t have “enough to eat”, but enough not to starve to death.


A woman bids farewell at Paddington Station in 1942 as her child is evacuated during the Blitz.

I love pictures like this. They leave so much to the imagination i.e. What happened to her? What happened to her child? Did they meet again?

I love pictures like this. They leave so much to the imagination i.e. What happened to her? What happened to her child? Did they meet again?