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Physiological and Psychosomatic Prerequisites for Survival and Recovery

  • Svetlana Magaeva
Chapter
Part of the Studies in Russian and East European History and Society book series (SREEHS)

Abstract

During the war the people of Leningrad had to endure a situation that went far beyond the bounds of anything previously experienced by anyone. Despite the fact that starvation killed more than half a million people, several hundred thousand Leningraders succeeded in surviving under conditions so extreme as to seem incompatible with life, and did so against all scientific opinion on minimum food requirements. Why and how they were able to survive are enigmas that have attracted the attention of biologists and physiologists, doctors and psychologists, historians and writers. Analysis of this question can help to disclose the latent reserves of the organism manifested by some people in extreme situations, and can help explain how and why they survived. The time for finding answers is fast running out. Elderly victims of the siege are passing away, taking with them the secret of the body’s amazing resistance. Children born in the besieged city are now growing old. The time for studying those characteristics of the organism responsible for resistance to the ferocious hunger and the mental and emotional stress of the daily threat to life has passed, but we still have the invaluable writings of eye-witnesses to the tragedy of the siege. Doctors and researchers, themselves exhausted by hunger, made clinical and laboratory observations on the state of the exhausted organism.

Keywords

Emotional Stress Vital Organ Vital Function Vital Activity Neural Regulation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 21.
    Bolshaya meditsinskaya entsiklopediya (1953), vol. 3, 643.Google Scholar
  2. 30.
    Alimentarnaya distrofiya …, 132; Opyt sovetskoi meditsiny (1951), vol. 28, 94.Google Scholar
  3. 32.
    Opyt sovetskoi meditsiny (1951), vol. 28, 56.Google Scholar
  4. 37.
    Ibid., 108–22; Opyt sovetskoi meditsiny (1951), vol. 28, 62, 63.Google Scholar
  5. 38.
    Alimentarnaya distrofiya …, 103–28, 256, 257; Chelovek. Mediko-biologicheskie dannye (1977), 233, 275, 338.Google Scholar
  6. 82.
    Opyt sovetskoi meditsiny (1951), vol. 28, 62, 63.Google Scholar
  7. 83.
    Opyt sovetskoi meditsiny (1951), vol. 28, 62, 63.Google Scholar
  8. 87.
    Ibid., 128–68; Opyt sovetskoi meditsiny (1951), vol. 28, 86, 87.Google Scholar
  9. 94.
    Alimentarnaya distrofiya …, 125; Opyt sovetskoi meditsiny (1951), vol. 28, 86, 87.Google Scholar
  10. 95.
    Opyt sovetskoi meditsiny (1951), vol. 28, 86, 87.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Svetlana Magaeva

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