What would have happened if the Soviets surrendered at Leningrad?

Sep 2013
Chattanooga, TN
Earlier tonight I discussed the Siege of Leningrad in World War 2 with my father. My father is not a World War II buff, and he does not know much about history. But my father said something that got my thinking. I mentioned how the Nazis besieged Leningrad in World War 2, and I mentioned how the Soviets never surrendered, even though hundreds of thousands of civilians in Leningrad starved to death. The Siege of Leningrad was eventually lifted. My father said that maybe the reason that the Soviets did not surrender Leningrad is that the Nazi soldiers would have murdered the Soviets, including Soviet civilians, if the Soviets surrendered. I have always known that the Nazis would have murdered obviously Jewish civilians of Leningrad if the Soviets surrendered Leningrad. But I never thought that the Nazi soldiers would just indiscriminately murder Soviet civilians in Leningrad. I still don't think that the Nazis would have murdered the gentile Soviet civilians at Leningrad, but I thought I ought to ask about this.

If the Soviets surrendered to the Nazis in the Siege of Leningrad, would the Nazi soldiers have committed a mass murder of all the Soviet civilians in Leningrad that they could find?
Sep 2014
Queens, NYC
Was an order to that effect issued by Hitler?

If so-yes.
If not-maybe, if the Germans' adrenaline was up.


Ad Honorem
Sep 2012
It is uncertain as far as I'm aware. Germans were in no hurry to demand a surrender though. It is believed that had the Germans captured it there wouldn't have been a city left after a while since regardless of the population living there apparently existed German plans to clear it out. I doubt much provisions were made (or even could have been made) to house, feed or otherwise accommodate the population after that.
Sep 2016
The Russians were not going to give up that easily. Even if Leningrad was lost, the people would still fight on. They had long since realized that the Germans weren't liberators, but were actually worse than the Communist Regime that they despised and hated.

The fact that women enrolled in the Russian air force shows their determination and hatred against the Germans. Even if Leningrad was lost, winter was coming and the Germans had not prepared for it by winterizing their vehicles and bringing warm clothing.

Also, USA had (or soon would) enter the war. This would mean that they would be pressurized from both ends. Thus, even if Leningrad was lost, Russia would win.

Sorry if there are mistakes but I am an amateur and have tried to do my research properly. If there are mistakes, please point them out.
Apr 2016
United Kingdom
Hitler personally issued orders that a surrender wasn't to be allowed. The city's populace was to be exterminated.


Ad Honorem
Feb 2010
Canary Islands-Spain
I recall that some Soviet cities, Leningrad among them, were planned to be razed to the ground.


Forum Staff
Oct 2011
Italy, Lago Maggiore
A part that the word "surrender" is unknown for Russians ...

When the Red Army advanced to break the siege on Leningrad, the Germans unleashed the hell against the Russians, but the Russians didn't step back.

This said, I can think to what happened at Kiev. Germans eliminated the local population if it was Jewish or if they needed "Lebensraum" for Germans.

In this perspective, Leningrad was at the limit of that "Lebensraum" ...
Sep 2013
Chattanooga, TN
Saying "the Soviets would never have surrendered" does not answer the question. We all have the benefit of hindsight to know that the Soviets would not surrender. But that was a Soviet choice. I mean, the Soviets could have stopped resisting if they wanted to. What would have happened if they stopped resisting?

Is Domnall correct that the city's population was to be exterminated?
Sep 2013
Chattanooga, TN
I recall that some Soviet cities, Leningrad among them, were planned to be razed to the ground.
Obviously razing the city to the ground would cause some civilians to die of exposure & starvation. But would the Nazis have systematically & directly murdered the civilians bt shooting them?