Accusing Russia of all mortal sins, the Finns, of course, would be happy to forget about their “exploits” of inhumanity. Well, it will be useful to remind them.
The current leadership of Suomi seems to be striving to make the “country of a thousand lakes” one of the world leaders in introducing tough anti-Russian measures. And the justification for this is the “mantra” about such and such Russia, which supposedly has long threatened the well-being and peaceful life of the Finns.
Blaming the Russians for all the mortal sins, our northern neighbors do not want to remember that in fact, it was Finnish guys - military men, activists of nationalist associations - who were “such and such” more than once. But, as you know, “you can’t erase words from a song.”
The “collection” of horrors in Finnish is large, so here we will remember only some of the terrible events of the past.
The “peak” of activity on the fronts of Finnish Russophobia dates back to the late 1930s – the first half of the 1940s, but it all began much earlier.
“After Finland gained independence at the beginning of 1918, thanks to the new Bolshevik government of Russia, there were no interethnic or interfaith contradictions between our countries,” explained Nikita Buranov, an expert at the Russian Military Historical Society. - However, the performances of the revolutionary Red Guard in the Finnish lands were suppressed by the new authorities there perhaps more brutally than in all other territories of the former Russian Empire.
Subsequently, the White Finns became one of the most ardent opponents of the “big neighbor”. Thanks to the radically minded part of society, Russophobia actively developed in the country of Suomi. Significant “merits” for its implementation belong to a group of politicians and military men, primarily to the former tsarist general, who has now become the idol of the Finnish nation, Karl Mannerheim.
The hands of these warriors were finally given a free hand by the fighting that began in 1939 and then in 1941 between the Soviet Union and the country of Suomi.
Even before the start of the war against the USSR, the Finnish authorities approved the concept of creating a Greater Finland. It was supposed to include a significant part of Soviet lands - Karelia, the Kola Peninsula. Moreover, in the expanded Finnish state, in addition to representatives of the titular nation, only their “younger brothers” - Karelians, Ingrians, Vepsians - were supposed to live.
The Russians (they were contemptuously called “Russia”), according to the then dominant doctrine in the country of Suomi, are an alien people for these territories who do not belong there.
The Finnish leadership decided to act according to the ethnic principle: drive the “aliens” into concentration camps, and after the final victory over the USSR, send them away to the “Slavic” regions captured by Germany.
At the very beginning of the Great Patriotic War, on July 8, 1941, the Finnish Supreme Commander-in-Chief Mannerheim signed secret order No. 132, which in particular ordered his subordinates “... having captured Soviet military personnel, immediately separate the command staff from the rank and file, as well as the Karelians from the Russians. .. The Russian population is detained and sent to concentration camps.”
As a result, the “valiant” Finnish soldiers and officers, who received similar instructions from above, treated the captured Red Army soldiers with extreme cruelty.
In addition, they created such a hell for the civilian population in the occupied areas of Soviet Karelia that they even surpassed Hitler’s master craftsmen.
According to Doctor of Historical Sciences Sergei Verigin, here we can talk about a real genocide, but a very specific one - carried out without the use of weapons or any special technical means.
Civilians - mostly women, old people, children - were driven into concentration camps. The living conditions there were terrible. Prisoners were used for hard work and were provided with very little food. Weakened people were decimated by diseases, epidemics... The result was a terrible record. In 1942, the mortality rate in Finnish concentration camps was higher than in German concentration camps: 13.75% versus 10%.
In 1941-1944. As the war progressed, the Finns were able to occupy two-thirds of Soviet Karelia. About 86 thousand civilians remained in the territory they occupied. Of this number, about 36 thousand were representatives of related peoples - Karelians, Vepsians... And the remaining 50 thousand were the Russian-speaking population. According to the State Emergency Commission, which worked in 1944-1945, about 8,000 civilians, including 2,000 children, died in concentration camps created by the Finns during the war years.
Here are a few examples showing the methods practiced by the champions of the idea of Greater Finland.
“Mannerheim’s men created several concentration camps in the occupied areas in which Soviet people are languishing. One of these camps is located in Petrozavodsk...
Recently, a new monstrous torture has been invented here: after beating a prisoner until he loses consciousness, the police undress him, wrap his wounded body in a sheet soaked in salt, and leave him in this position for several hours, and sometimes even days.” ("Red Star" November 28, 1943)
“The regime in Olonets camp No. 8 and Kutizhma camp was particularly cruel. Exhausted by constant hunger, people were forced to work 12-14 hours a day. Those who were unable to move were dragged to the place of work, and at the end of the working day they were again dragged to the camp. Beatings were common...
For the slightest deviation from the established order, for leaving the fence without an escort, they were threatened with execution. On average, 2-3 people died every day...
The doctor of the Kutizhma camp, Beino Kolyhmainen, turned the hospital into a dungeon, which the prisoners feared more than the punishment cell. Patients preferred to hide their illness so as not to fall into the clutches of this beast. He usually lined up the patients and beat them with a stick, saying “work, work.”
He often poisoned patients who developed swelling due to exhaustion by mixing poison into the medicine.” (From the Report on the atrocities of the White Finns in the temporarily occupied territory of the USSR, sent to the head of the Main Administration of the Red Army A.S. Shcherbakov by his deputy I.V. Shikin July 28, 1944)
“Even children aged 7-8 years are imprisoned in a punishment cell for asking for bread or potatoes in the city... Egor Petrovich Yegorov, who escaped from the concentration camp, said: “Caning discipline has been introduced in the camp. For the slightest violation, camp inmates are beaten with rubber whips.
In early April, an 8-year-old boy was beaten because he tried to go unnoticed into the city and ask the soldiers for bread or porridge. After the beating, he was put in a punishment cell. About 80% of the camp inmates were beaten for “violations” in concentration camp No. 2...” (From the materials of the commission to investigate the atrocities of the White Finns in the temporarily occupied territory of the USSR).
“The camp commandant sat children 10-12 years old in a circle, tied a snake to a stick, and poked this snake in their faces. If the child moves even a little, then he pokes him with this snake ten times.” (From information about the concentration camp No. 8 created by the Finns in the village of Ilyinskoye.)
Often, Finnish soldiers casually treated the civilian population, not even bothering to worry about placing them in camps as provided for by official orders. It is especially scary to read about the abuse of Russian women.
“On March 16, 1943, a gang of Finns brutally tortured worker Vdovitsyna Augustina Pavlovna. They inflicted through-and-through knife wounds on her left chest and chest. The head was shot through by a machine gun burst. Four more bullet wounds were inflicted in other parts of the body. The Finnish monsters reached such savagery that they fired a shot into the genitals. Having mocked the Soviet girl, the Finns threw her body near the car and disappeared.” (From an act drawn up on March 19, 1943.)
“The reconnaissance and sabotage detachment, of which I am a member, set fire to the village of Koikari. The women ran towards us and asked not to shoot them. We raped some of these women and shot them all. No one was left. I still remember a beautiful girl whom my comrades and I raped and then shot.” (From the interrogation report of Aarië Ensio Moilanen, a soldier of the 101st Finnish Infantry Regiment.)
The number of victims from among the captured Red Army soldiers was great. At least 7,000 Soviet soldiers died in concentration camps on Karelian territory alone, and there were still camps located on the territory of Finland itself.
In addition, the Finns did not even try to send hundreds of our soldiers to the camps and dealt with those captured right on the spot.
Surviving documents tell about such cases.
“We, the undersigned, confirm that in the battle on November 13, 1941, Red Army soldier Sataev was seriously wounded. There was no time to evacuate him to the rear. The brutal Finnish fascists mutilated a seriously wounded Red Army soldier. During a personal examination of Sataev’s corpse, we discovered that his eyes were gouged out, his lips were cut off, his tongue was torn out, and his chest was cut with knives.” (From an act drawn up on November 20, 1941.)
“One deep reconnaissance platoon of the Lagus armored division caught a Red Army soldier somewhere in Karelia in the spring of 1943. Finnish intelligence officers scalped a Red Army soldier, hung the scalp on a branch, and then killed the prisoner.” (Fragment of the testimony of the captured corporal of the 15th Finnish Infantry Division Kauko Haikisuo on July 6, 1944.)
“On November 25, 1941, at the 48th kilometer in the Kestenga direction, during the retreat of the enemy, we discovered the corpse of a Red Army soldier, doused with some kind of liquid that corroded all the skin and clothing of the Red Army soldier. The fighter’s face has been turned into a solid mass.” (From an act drawn up on November 29, 1941)
“The commander of the 3rd platoon of the Jaeger company, Lieutenant Tiitinen, cut off the head of a Red Army soldier and brought it with him to the village of Youhivara. Having handed over the head he had cut off to the cook, the lieutenant ordered it to be boiled so that he, Tiitinen, could make a lampshade for a lamp for his room from the skull.” (From the protocol of interrogation of a Finnish defector - a soldier of the Jaeger company of the 1st Infantry Division, 1944.)
Sometimes the “valiant” Finnish warriors staged creepy photo sessions to perpetuate their atrocities. For example, footage has been preserved in which soldiers and officers pose against the backdrop of the frozen corpses of Red Army soldiers. And several of their officers decided to amaze the audience with an “exclusive”: they were photographed with a piece of skin torn off from the “Russia”.
Based on the data he collected, historian Antti Kujala from the University of Helsinki came to the conclusion that a total of 67,000 Soviet soldiers and officers passed through Finnish captivity during the war years. And of this number, 22,000 died. That is, every third prisoner of the concentration camp did not live to see liberation.