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Book: Hitler tried to starve Leningrad

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ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, Aug. 31 (UPI) -- Hitler did not want to capture besieged Leningrad in World War II, but tried to starve its citizens to death, a new book by a German historian says.

St. Petersburg was known as Leningrad during the war.

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The St. Petersburg (Russia) Times says the book was released in Germany this summer.

"Das Belagerte Leningrad" by Jurg Ganzenmueller challenges the Soviet view of the Siege of Leningrad that the city was not taken because of heroic resistance by citizens and the Red Army. That view still dominates in Russia today, the Times reported the book as asserting.

The author says Russian propaganda and German silence about atrocities distorted the truth.

On Sept. 8, 1941, Leningrad seemed about to fall. German troops captured Schloesselburg and closed their ring around Leningrad.

Yet, at that point Hitler issued the command to stop short.

Hundreds of thousands of citizens -- some say 1 million people -- fell victim to starvation, disease exposure and enemy action.

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