Paperno was born in 1937 in Leningrad. In June 1941 Nazi
Germany attacked the Soviet Union. In September 1941
Axis forces severed the last road to Leningrad, and the
siege of the city (also known as Leningrad Blockade)
began. 4 year-old Alla survived the first and the most
tragic winter of the siege. In the spring of 1942 she
was evacuated from the city. She returned to Leningrad
with her family in 1946, and graduated from Leningrad
Polytechnic Institute in 1961.
Mrs. Paperno moved to Kamchatka, where she worked in the
Institute of Volcanology and Seismology of Far East
Branch of Russia's Academy of Science in Petropavlovsk-
Kamchatsky. In 1978 the author first started her life-
long engagement with freelance journalism. In 1985 Mrs.
Paperno initiated her own journalistic investigation of
the events of the WWII in Northern Pacific. The Soviet
censorship's ban on the war history, introduced after
the war, was lifted by then.
retirement in 1987, Mrs. Paperno fully dedicated herself
to journalism and writing.
so-called "Special archives" of classified documents of
the State Archives and large libraries in Moscow and
Leningrad began opening up. As a result, Mrs. Paperno
became the first fundamental Soviet explorer of Lend-
Lease history in the Pacific region. Her research began
in merely journalistic style, but later has acquired
serious academic approach. Author's articles were
published in numerous popular and scientific historical
magazines. In the 1990's Alla Paperno, as a survivor of
Leningrad Blockade, became eligible for significant
transportation discounts, equal to the war veteran ones.
This fact allowed her to travel extensively to multiple
cities of the Soviet Union to gather information.
the preparations for joint Soviet-American expedition
across the Pacific Ocean to commemorate the 50th
anniversary of Lend-Lease Agreement signing began. Alla
Paperno was asked to prepare a review of Lend-Lease
history for submission to the Soviet Government. The
expedition was supposed to happen in 1992, but
unfortunately, subsequent events in the USSR in the late
1991 made it impossible. However, the review had been
prepared. The most thorough description of the
Lend-Lease program from the economical standpoint
(included in this publication) was presented there for
the first time in Russian.
Paperno’s articles appeared in newspapers of many places
she visited. The author participated in several meetings
of historians and historical conferences in Moscow,
Vladivostok, Khabarovsk, Petropavlovsk- Kamchatsky, and
St. Petersburg, including international conferences in
Moscow in 1995, and in St.Petersburg in 2000.
Paperno wrote two books in Russian: "Ленд-Лиз. Тихий
Океан" ("Lend- Lease. The Pacific Ocean") (Moscow, 1998)
and "Третий Период Славы Петропавловска- Камчатского"
("The Third Chapter of Glory of Petropavlovsk-
Kamchatsky") (Petropavlovsk- Kamchatsky, 2007). The
latter book won the award of the Russian Union of
Journalists in nomination "For Professional Skills".
Full content of both books in Russian is available
Professor Jürgen Rohwer and Alla Paperno during break
between sessions of the colloquium dedicated to the 80th
anniversary of J. Rohwer.
Stuttgart, Library of contemporary history, June 2004.