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Finnish concentration camps in Karelia


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#1 Artema

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 10:00 AM

Finnish occupation of Karelia is an interesting topic for or me.
Some people may not know, that after the annexation of Karelia in 1941, Baron Mannerheim ordered to clean its territory of Russians (which were 45% of 86 000 Karelian population). They were to be deported to the German occupied Russian territory, and prior to deportation were to be placed into concentration camps.
The first concentration camp was established in Petrozavodsk on October 24, 1941. The total amount of camps was 10, including 6 in Petrozavodsk. About 30 000 people were put into camps, 4000 died of starvation (90% in 1942).

Russian children in Finnish concentration camp.

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I ought to say that these camps were never planned to be places of extermination, unlike some German camps, though prisoners older than 14 had to work 12-16 hours a day and some of them were stamped with hot iron.
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#2 Skipper

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 10:34 AM

Thanks for mentionning this Artema, I never heard of those ethnic cleansing camps. What does the sign say?

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#3 Artema

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 11:04 AM

What does the sign say?


"Death penalty for passing the wire fence".

Edited by Artema, 11 March 2010 - 11:19 AM.

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#4 Kai-Petri

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 06:34 PM

I suppose the numbers are based on Osmo Hyytiä´s book "Eastern Karelia 1941-44"? The major reason for these arrests seem to be according to Hyytiä that the Russians were not considered as "trustworthy people" as they could cause terror behind the lines. So as the attack went on the Russians were sent to camps.Also the big figure of Russians in Karelia in 1941 depends on two things: the Finns left Karelia after Winter War and Stalin sent people there from other areas of Russia. SOme 400-500,000 Finns left the area that the USSR got after Winter War and many returned 1941, but left for good in 1944. This huge number of people was relocated in the other areas of Finland.

The numbers of dead in early war phase was high for these people as well as it was for the POW´s as the Finns were not prepared for feeding them although the orders were to give them as much food as the POW´s who neither got the food they were to receive.
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#5 Artema

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 06:49 PM

I suppose the numbers are based on Osmo Hyytiä´s book "Eastern Karelia 1941-44"?

Heikki Ylikangas, Heikki Ylikankaan selvitys Valtioneuvoston kanslialle, Government of Finland
Laine, Antti, Suur-Suomen kahdet kasvot, 1982, ISBN 951-1-06947-0, Otava
Maanpuolustuskorkeakoulun historian laitos, Jatkosodan historia 1-6, 1994

Although I don't know what does it mean :)

The major reason for these arrests seem to be according to Hyytiä that the Russians were not considered as "trustworthy people" as they could cause terror behind the lines.

Well, that was exactly what USA did with the Americans of Japanese origin (saying nothing about what was happening in the USSR).

#6 brndirt1

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 11:42 PM



Well, that was exactly what USA did with the Americans of Japanese origin .


With the possible qualifier that the relocation camps in America had the lowest death rate, the highest live birth rate, the best schooling (our local states complained they couldn't keep teachers), no food rationing, free clothing, free medical, Japanese citizens who moved into the "camps" voluntarily, 5,000 Japanese-American students who went to univerity and colleges at government expense during the war, and over 30,000 who left the camps when they found places away from the exclusion zones to move to.

Not really "concentration camps" were they? Not a "bright and shining moment" in American history, but not "concentration camps" in the Fascist/Nazi/Soviet/Japanese mold.

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#7 Kruska

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 02:30 AM

Found this as well in regards to the internment camps in the US.

In 1988, Congress passed and President Ronald Reagan signed legislation which apologized for the internment on behalf of the U.S. government. The legislation stated that government actions were based on "race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership". Over $1.6 billion in reparations were later disbursed by the U.S. government to Japanese Americans who had either suffered internment or were heirs of those who had suffered internment.

And also this website whilst searching - its hysterical - millions of Americans to be placed in concentrationcamps by the New World Order!!!
AMERICAN CONCENTRATION CAMPS

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#8 Artema

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 02:00 PM

Not really "concentration camps" were they? Not a "bright and shining moment" in American history, but not "concentration camps" in the Fascist/Nazi/Soviet/Japanese mold.


Okay, that's fine.
The similarity is in the neglect of the presumption of innocence.

#9 Skipper

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 04:20 PM

Glad you guys can keep this gentle. Considering this thread is informative I shall let you go on, but please keep it civil, it's quite a challenge to discuss this matter.

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#10 Artema

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Posted 13 March 2010 - 08:39 AM

the Finns left Karelia after Winter War and Stalin sent people there from other areas of Russia. SOme 400-500,000 Finns left the area that the USSR got after Winter War and many returned 1941, but left for good in 1944. This huge number of people was relocated in the other areas of Finland


There is some misunderstanding. The information wasn't about Karelian Isthmus, but about Eastern Karelia which belonged to Russia and was annexed by Finland in 1941. Russians had been living there for centuries together with Karelians.

#11 Skipper

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Posted 13 March 2010 - 08:47 AM

I have a question. Who owned eastern Karelia between 1917 and 1939? I always thought it was Finnish and annexed by the Russians in 1939-40 , taken by the Finns in 1941 and retaken by the Russians after the war, but know I'm getting confused.

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#12 Artema

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Posted 13 March 2010 - 09:03 AM

I have a question. Who owned eastern Karelia between 1917 and 1939? I always thought it was Finnish and annexed by the Russians in 1939-40 , taken by the Finns in 1941 and retaken by the Russians after the war, but know I'm getting confused.


Finland never owned Eastern Karelia. It was an aggressive annexation in 1941.

#13 Kai-Petri

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Posted 13 March 2010 - 02:37 PM

Finland never owned Eastern Karelia. It was an aggressive annexation in 1941.


Fair enough. It is Eastern Karelia and here is the best I can find in the net about the maps where Finland went further than the previous border.


Finland 1939, Finland 1940 after Winter war and the furthest the Finns advanced.

Of course we should remember it was Mannerheim who denied the Finnish troops for advancing further, refused attacking Leningrad and accepted only sabotage of the Murmansk line. Actually, like mentioned before, for the Finns the war 1942-1944 was not very active except for some troops we had in Northern Finland, I recall. Maybe another reason why Finland was left with independence although I´d say the thoughts of dictators can never be guessed truly.
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#14 Kai-Petri

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Posted 13 March 2010 - 02:53 PM

Jus to remind about Stalin´s programs in the East Karelian area etc. I would personally say he was not a fan of Karelia, although I guess his politics were pretty much the same all over the USSR.

Genocide in Soviet Karelia: Stalin's Terror and the Finns of Soviet Karelia

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Soviet Karelia, Politics, Planning and Terror in Stalin's Russia, 1920–1939
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#15 brndirt1

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Posted 13 March 2010 - 03:28 PM

Okay, that's fine.
The similarity is in the neglect of the presumption of innocence.


The problem here is that in time of war, expediency takes precedent over "presumption of innocence", sad but true. The fellow who eventually implemented the relocation order (Gen.DeWitt), had in the summer of 1941 attempted to get Japanese-American Issei to move away from the west coast on their own, with promises from western governors to find homes and jobs for them. Only a few took advantage of the offer as the relations between America and Japan deteriorated.

Then, before Pearl was attacked he held that wholesale removal was un-necessary and that by individual interviews he and his investigators could separate out the "bad apples". This would have supported the presumptive innocence position, unfortunately the Imperial Japanese removed that option from the equation, and they were shipped out wholesale.

As they arrived in the relocation camps (a few nasty ones, but most ex-CCC), they were then interviewed and those who had relatives or other places to move to were allowed to leave and their warehoused goods shipped to them. About 30,000 (I believe) were able to leave immediately, or within months. There was one camp, Tule Lake in California, which was the real deal as a camp. It housed the famous "no-no boys", as well as the most radical and outspoken anti-American Japanese. The rest of the camps improved as time went on, but initially they were rather bleak.

As I said, not a "bright and shining moment" in American History, but understandable to my mind in a "real war, with a real aggressor nation". Not this nebulous "war on terror" business.
Happy Trails,
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#16 Artema

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Posted 13 March 2010 - 05:21 PM

Of course we should remember it was Mannerheim who denied the Finnish troops for advancing further, refused attacking Leningrad and accepted only sabotage of the Murmansk line.

Do you think it was because of his humanism or he wanted to avoid losses when assaulting Soviet fortifications in Karelian Isthmus (which were by the way stronger than Mannerheim Line)? Considering that till 1943 Finland had no heavy artillery (correct me if I am mistaking)? (*)
However it be, personally I am glad that the Finns did not participate actively in Leningrad blockade. Honestly, no irony. My great grandfather died of hunger in the city in January, 1942.

(*) P. S. Do you know the very interesting story of Soviet railway artillery transporters for heavy naval guns, which were taken by the Finnish army in Hanko in 1943?

Edited by Artema, 13 March 2010 - 08:57 PM.


#17 Sloniksp

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Posted 13 March 2010 - 05:59 PM

My great grandfather died of hunger in the city in January, 1942.


So did my father's would be older sisters (2).
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#18 AirdefMike

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 01:42 PM

I would like to point out that Mr. Artema has seen fit to post a famous propaganda picture of one of these Finnish "Concentration" Camps. I dunno but the admins/mods should have something to say about that.

But it's not surprising...it's common behaviour from Russian posters in every forum I've visited.

Some of these camps were actually working Gulags in Soviet use...Finns just changed the detainees.

These camps prevented the use of local population from the Soviets to use as partisans. So the partisans had come from outside of the Finnish controlled areas.

Ps. the "Great Finland" was actually an Estonian idea. It meant united Finland and Estonia which didn't materialise. Something ironic about the Commie apologists using Great Finland as somekind of reason of the Finnish advance into Eastern Karelia as
in the end there was a "greater" Soviet Union which annexed areas legally belonging to Finland and COLONISED them.

#19 Kai-Petri

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 02:54 PM

Interesting fact from the book of Red Army officer pilot Mikko Kopra. During early phase of Winter War as the Red Army did not catch enough Finnish prisoners several soldiers from The Red Army who were from the Finnish speaking area of Karelia, were sent to a prisoner camp near Leningrad, and people from Leningrad went there to watch them. The Guards naturally were kind to the prisoners as they were "own men", but the Soviet citizens that went there were totally unaware of this...

Axis History Forum • View topic - Mainila shots II soviets

Unfortunately not translated to English it seems...

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#20 Beduin

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 08:30 AM

I confirm the information of Artema. It was personal experience of my family. My grandmother was put in one of those camps at the time of WW2. She survived, because having an affair with a Finnish soldier but told me that some people there did not.

#21 Kai-Petri

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 12:24 PM

Unfortunately it is often the civilians who suffer most...
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#22 AirdefMike

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 07:59 AM

I confirm the information of Artema.


Well, just in case...no one is denying the historical fact that the Russian population of Eastern Karelia (not the original inhabitants of the area) were concentrated in camps...which some of them were already in work when the war started...as Gulags.

Finns released the "gulagers" and put the pop in that was thought be "troublesome" during the war instead.

The losses those detainees in these camps suffered were mostly because of malnutrition. The Soviet pows suffered also from this.

#23 Karjala

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 02:39 PM

Do you think it was because of his humanism or he wanted to avoid losses when assaulting Soviet fortifications in Karelian Isthmus (which were by the way stronger than Mannerheim Line)? Considering that till 1943 Finland had no heavy artillery (correct me if I am mistaking)? (*)
However it be, personally I am glad that the Finns did not participate actively in Leningrad blockade. Honestly, no irony. My great grandfather died of hunger in the city in January, 1942.


Mannerheim didn't want to attack Leningrad, because it was not a Finnish objective, it would have resulted unnecessary losses and Finland wanted to underline the difference between the objectives of Finland and Germany. Also Leningrad was a city, which was very familiar to Mannerheim, who had lived there many decades. He didn't want to destroy it. However assaulting soviet fortifications at the end of summer -41 wouldn't have been too demanding. The soviet troops were withdrawing with haste and had lost much of the heavy weaponry.

Mannerheim line (not originally named so by the Finns) was never especially strong. It lacked depth and in many places proper fortifications. Its strenght was largely exaggerated by the soviets to justify the great losses.

#24 Karjala

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 02:54 PM

Finland never owned Eastern Karelia. It was an aggressive annexation in 1941.


Eastern Karelia has never been part of Finland. On the other hand Karelians are ethnicly Finns and Karelian language(s) is a very close relative to Finnish - some say a Finnish dialect(s). Russians in Eastern Karelia are mostly newcomers, the Karelians have lived there for thousands of years.

Finland never annexed Eastern Karelia - only part of Karelia (the Isthmus, Border Karelia and Laatokka/Ladoga Karelia) which Soviet Union had previosly robbed from Finland.

In December 1939 Soviet Union annexed aggressively Finland with Eastern Karelia by using the puppet government of "the Peoples Democracy of Finland" in Terijoki. However we - the people of Finland - did not agree with that annexation. That was called the Winter War.

#25 Karjala

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 03:04 PM

There is some misunderstanding. The information wasn't about Karelian Isthmus, but about Eastern Karelia which belonged to Russia and was annexed by Finland in 1941. Russians had been living there for centuries together with Karelians.


Eastern Karelia actually belongs to the Karelians, as was agreed in the peace treaty of Tartu 1920. However the Soviet Union betrayd that treaty - as well as many others.

Finland never annexed Eastern Karelia.

In Eastern Karelia lived originally only Karelians. Only a handful of Russians have lived there "for centuries" - mainly in Petrozavodsk, where Peter I founded a gun factory. Later on the number of Russians grew up slowly, mainly by the Murmansk railway. Only during soviet times did the number of russians start to grow - mostly unwillingly, since people were moved there by force. At the same times started the purges against the Karelians and the Finns.




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