This month the country of Russia celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Leningrad Siege. The Siege at Leningrad cost more than a million Russian lives, military and civilian alike. The siege began on September 8th, 1941 and was not over until January 27, 1944. This was a total of 872 days. Celebrations included a reenactment of the first break through German lines to lift the siege, along with a parade of Soviet Era T-34 tanks. Many veterans of the war came across the country to come to the city for this day of remembrance. A memorial service was also held along with the reenactments. President Putin visited the city because he was from there. His family was also personally effected by this attack, his mother would survive but his uncle would become a victim of starvation due to the Nazi blockade of the city. He laid a wreath of flowers underneath the memorial dedicated to the victims. The German government also sent their condolences to the people of Russia, acknowledging that it was their country who was responsible for the suffering of the Russian people. In a letter to President Putin, German President Joachim Gauck wrote "Germany recognizes it's historical responsibility for the suffering inflicted on the people of Leningrad and for the brutal warfare of it's soldiers, commandos and SS formations." The lower house of the German parliament dedicated it's Memorial Day to the victims of Nazi Germany, including the people of Leningrad. Noted Russian author, Daniil Granin, was invited to the Bundestag to share his experiences with the German government. Daniil Granin is a 95 year old war veteran who participated in the fighting when he joined the Red Army at the age of 22. German politicians listened as he talked about the cruelty which he had witnessed, admitting it took a long time to forgive the people of Germany for the crimes against humanity and Russian people.