This groundbreaking work shows the long-hidden ethnic mass deportations and years of persecution, fear and forced labour. It is based on one hundred interviews, 200 letters, archival documents, memoirs and unique photographs. Dr. Anni Reuter’s book is a humane and shocking description of the fate of deported and persecuted Finns. It combines the latest scientific knowledge with family histories, emotion, and firsthand experiences.
The border areas and historical Ingria surrounding St. Petersburgh faced ethnic cleaning during Stalin’s reign. Families were deported to Siberia, Kola Peninsula, Kazakstan and other distant Soviet corners. In the forgotten Gulag, places of deportation, many perished from cold, hunger, infectious diseases and exhausting forced labour. A deported person could later be deported again, sent to the labour army, imprisoned or executed.
Ethnic minorities were purged during the Great Terror. Death sentences and torture were common. The minority culture and its people were destroyed.
About the author
Anni Reuter works as a PhD researcher at the University of Helsinki. Her grandfather escaped persecution to Finland barely before the border was closed, but his family was deported to Siberia. Later many of them were imprisoned and killed during Stalin’s time in the Soviet Union.
Original title: Suomalaiset Stalinin puhdistuksissa. SKS Kirjat 2023. 400 pages.