For 40 years, this russian family was cut off from all human contact, unaware of world war II

By:
Share Article:  

For 40 Years, This Russian Family Was Cut Off From All Human Contact, Unaware of World War II

So you think your life has been tough? Here is an amazing story of a small family that lived a life completely different from yours most likely. They were discovered in Siberia in 1978, and they had been living alone there for 40 years. The article explains why the family had retreated into the wilderness and why they ended up living there for so long. It also details some of the hardship the family went through in the 40 years they lived undiscovered in the wilderness.

Things had only got worse for the Lykov family when the atheist Bolsheviks took power. Under the Soviets, isolated Old Believer communities that had fled to Siberia to escape persecution began to retreat ever further from civilization. During the purges of the 1930s, with Christianity itself under assault, a Communist patrol had shot Lykov’s brother on the outskirts of their village while Lykov knelt working beside him. He had responded by scooping up his family and bolting into forest.

Yet the Lykovs lived permanently on the edge of famine. It was not until the late 1950s, when Dmitry reached manhood, that they first trapped animals for their meat and skins. Lacking guns and even bows, they could hunt only by digging traps or pursuing prey across the mountains until the animals collapsed from exhaustion. Dmitry built up astonishing endurance, and could hunt barefoot in winter, sometimes returning to the hut after several days, having slept in the open in 40 degrees of frost, a young elk across his shoulders.

For 40 Years, This Russian Family Was Cut Off From All Human Contact, Unaware of World War II (Smithsonian)