The Nazis surrounded a city, and hoped to bomb it and starve it into submission. Bodies piled up the streets. One girl recalled seeing a Christmas tree and spotting what looked like presents under its branches. She got a little closer and saw that the tree provided shelter for the skeletal remains of those who never made it. There were tales of cannibalism. All seemed lost.
Then the orchestra started to play. Its starving members did not often have the strength to sound a note, yet play on they did. The remarkable tale of the Leningrad Symphony Orchestra is recalled in fine detail by the BBC. Its BBC History Magazine podcast can be listened to here and a World Service accompanying article is well worth a read.
A truly remarkable story.