The Men Who Preferred To Starve To Death Than Eat Through A Seed Bank

Grace Higgins | November 30th, 2019

During the siege of Leningrad during World War II, there was a group of Russian botanists who were holed up a secret vault. Here they ran out of food, and instead of consuming the greatest collection of seeds that were meant for a post-apocalyptic world they chose to starve to death.

splendidtable.org

And perhaps what is even worse, the man behind the whole operation Nikolay Vavilov, who collected all the seeds went on to die of starvation in one of Stalin’s gulags. When German forces began their siege of Leningrad in 1941, choking off the food supply of the city’s two million residents. There was a group of Russians who had access to plenty of food, but they chose to starve instead of eating it.

Scientists and workers at the Institute of Plant Industry barricaded themselves inside the vaults, when Germans poured into the city which is now known as St Petersburg. They were not trying to save their lives, they were trying to save the future of humanity. They had the mission of protecting the greatest seed collection ever, one that would be able to protect the whole world from starving hungry Soviet citizens and a rampaging German Army.

After more than 900 days, these heroic men started to die of hunger but still, they decided to not eat through the seed banks that they had vowed to protect with their lives. You see their leader Vavilov had traveled around five continents and studied the whole global food ecosystem. He called it his mission for all of humanity and even when Russia was going through multiple revolutions, he was still conducting genetic research for breeding seeds to increase farm productivity.

This was because Russia has a long history of anarchy and famines, he felt this was the best way to solve this problem. Vavilov dreamed of a future of an amazing utopian future where no human went hungry, he saw a future of agricultural practices and science would work for hand in hand to create super plants.

Perhaps ironically he ended up in a Soviet prison in Saratov, where he eventually died of starvation. One of the many terrible tragedies that happened under Stalin’s rule of the Soviet Union.

Next Article
  • Ravens Beat Jets On TNF

    The Baltimore Ravens defeated the New York Jets, 42-21, behind five passing touchdowns from MVP candidate Lamar Jackson. The Ravens did what they’ve done all season; jumping to an early lead and dominating their opponents throughout the whole game. The offense scored two touchdowns in the first quarter from a Mark Ingram six-yard run and...

    Read More
  • Lakers, Rockets And Bucks Roll

    Three of the marquee teams in the league continued their dominance over the league, when the Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks and Houston Rockets all won on Wednesday night. To start the action, the Lakers defeated the Orlando Magic, 96-87, to improve to 22-3 on the season. The talk lately has been if the Lakers...

    Read More
  • Bathing Was Actually Popular During The Medieval Ages

    People have the notion that the medieval ages were just dirt, filth, more dirt, disease, and darkness. And we'll there was a lot of dirt and disease, much like the world today, and yes public sanitization did not exist. However, there is one notion that is wrong, the thought that medieval people were simply filthy...

    Read More
  • Tuesday Night NBA Action

    The Charlotte Hornets, Philadelphia 76ers, Miami Heat and Portland Trail Blazers all picked up important wins that included big time performances from star players and surprising young talent. During the Hornets game, Devonte’ Graham turned in another brilliant performance, scoring 29 points and dishing six assists in the Hornets 114-107 victory against the Washington Wizards....

    Read More
  • The Great Joan of Arc Imposter

    Joan of Arc whose real name was Jehanne d’Arc or could have been Jehanne Tarc, or actually, it may have been Jehanne de Vouthon - well you get the picture nobody really knew her real name as she never used it. She grew up in Domremy a village in northeastern France, she was the daughter...

    Read More
  • Eagles Beat Giants On MNF

    The Philadelphia Eagles beat the New York Giants, 23-17, on Monday Night Football in overtime behind Carson Wentz’s 325 passing yards and Zach Ertz’s two receiving touchdowns. The past couple weeks both the Eagles and Dallas Cowboys have been gifted multiple opportunities to take control of the NFC East, but both teams seem uninterested in...

    Read More
  • NFL Week 14 Sunday Recap

    Colts 35, Buccaneers 38 • Another Sunday, another Winston performance with multiple interceptions. He passed for 456 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions to keep the Bucs in the playoff picture. Ravens 24, Bills 17 • This Bills team will put anyone on upset alert in the playoffs. Lamar Jackson was held to 185 total...

    Read More