Soviet-Finnisch monument in Karelia

Discussions on the Winter War and Continuation War, the wars between Finland and the USSR.
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Slava_M
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Post by Slava_M » 27 Jun 2007 14:02

Alex Yeliseenko wrote:OK. Great Tnx, Juha.

I read, that the Finnish weapon found even in area Tuapse.

Regards.
I'm not sure that there are some monuments for SS Wiking soldiers there in Caucasus area, only graves robbed by local "entusiasts".
Finnish weapon was found in many places, especially rifles and rifle cartridges because Soviet rifle ammo can be replaced by Finnish, and USSR had some war booty of Winter War time.

Slava_M
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Post by Slava_M » 27 Jun 2007 14:14

May be it is interesting, the sculptor of the monument in Lemetti was Leo Lankinen, who was an Ingermanland Finn, moved from Northern Ingria during 1930-s and later (after Stalin's death) lived in Eastern Karelia. He identified himself as Finn and spoke Finnish. It is a chapter about this monument in a book about Leo Lankinen. Unfortunately the sculptor died some time before the official opening of the monument.

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BIGpanzer
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Post by BIGpanzer » 28 Jun 2007 12:01

JT wrote:
BIGpanzer íàïèñà:
It was indeed usual practice during the war that no names and no numbers of burried fallen were given in the case of mass graves.
JT wrote:
I wonder why?
I think because of hard wars (Winter and Great Patriotic) - very significant losses, a lot of unknown fallen soldiers and completelly lack of time to search their names during the war and install some kind of monument with given names. Some mass graves were established many months after the combats, when Soviets entered the area - it was impossible to find the names of fallen men. As for numbers of burried - I have no exact idea why they were not given .

For example, when I visited Karelia the Karelian forester told me that he worked in Smolensk area in 1960s and he found once a small hill in the forest and many hundreds remains (bones) of Soviet soldiers around [who tried to take the hill with German MG nests on the top]. And those soldiers were completelly forgotten and not burried and nobody found them after the war [and probably until now]. Most probably, that many names of such soldiers were and are unknown if they represented new reinforcement just came to the unit before combat as there was no time to mention their names in the unit combat log-book -they came from hospitals or training units and immediately go to combat. A very common situation during WWII in Soviet Army. Also Soviet soldiers almost never wore medallions with their names - there was a belief that in such case you could survive in combat, so exact identification of Soviet soldiers was and is [just see sites about searching groups] extremelly hard thing. Officers and pilots can be identified more easily [documents, awards, aircraft factory number, etc.].

Best regards, BP

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BIGpanzer
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Post by BIGpanzer » 28 Jun 2007 13:02

Slava_M wrote:
May be it is interesting, the sculptor of the monument in Lemetti was Leo Lankinen, who was an Ingermanland Finn, moved from Northern Ingria during 1930-s and later (after Stalin's death) lived in Eastern Karelia. He identified himself as Finn and spoke Finnish. It is a chapter about this monument in a book about Leo Lankinen. Unfortunately the sculptor died some time before the official opening of the monument.
This is very interesting. I found a chronology of monument design.

July 1992 - Moscow government discussed the idea about memorial to fallen soldiers in Pitkaranta. Initiator of idea was veteran of WWII S.M. Tikhomirov. Moscow government gave 10.000.000 roubles for this.

August 1992 - Pitkaranta town council discussed the agreement between Russia and Finland from 11.07.1992 to perpetuate the memory of Soviet and Finnish soldiers, fallen during WWII. It was decided to open monument in Pitkaranta and collect money for it.

28 August 1993 - memorial board in Pitkaranta "To the memory of fallen in 1940" was installed from citizen community of Rantasalmi.

01 February 1994 - competition for the design of memorial. Participants - 4 Karelian, 6 Moscow, 1 Petersburg, 3 Finnish sculptors. The 1st place was given to the "Cross of Sorrow" by Leo Lankinen from Karelia, 2nd place - to B. Plenkin from St. Petersburg, 3rd place - V. Bykov from Moscow. The planned cost should be 85000 $.

23 February 1994 - decree of Russian government No.244 about financing of monument.

1994 - monument in Suomussalmi (Finland) was installed. Designer - Russian sculptor Oleg Komov.

February 1995 - Karelian government established commitee for supervising and coordination the construction of monument "Cross of Sorrow"

May 1995 - Russian sculptor E. Akulov started the design of monument model together with L. Lankinen. Russian ministry of culture sent to Karelia 200.000.000 roubles for monument construction.

May 1996 - 1:1 model was finished [height 5.25 m]

December 1996 - Control Department of Russian President reported that Karelian government received 377.000.000 roubles for monument [including private donations from Soviet and Finnish war veterans]

17.12.1996 - Karelian sculptor Leo Lankinen [academician of Soviet Academy of Arts] died. He was very against any differentiations between Finland and Russia during the design of his monument, and when he was asked which mother on the cross will be Finnish and which will be Soviet/Russian, he answered: "Doesn't matter. They should be sisters and mothers of fallen soldiers". Finn Leo Lankinen was one of the best Karelian sculptors, who felt the national characters of Finns and Karelians extremelly subtly [and made a lot of sculptures of famous Finns, Karelians and Russians who lived in Karelia] and he was free from Soviet "heroic" style of art.
ImageImage

December 1997 - sculptor E. Akulov completelly finished the model of monument in plaster cast.

26.01.1998 - experts from Russian ministry of culture recommended to cast the monument from cast iron instead of stainless steel.

March 1998 - governments of Karelia and Russia spent 334.116.000 roubles for monument, many works were performed free of charge.

31.08.1999 - factory "Petrozavodskmash" began to cast the monument. The original plaster cast model was presented to Finnish town Kuopio. The book "Memory and sorrow" was published - memoires of soldiers, participated in combats in Lemetti and Soviet-Finnish (Winter) war in general.

23.01.2000 - administration of Finnish town Kuopio gave 100.000 markkaa [10% from the cost of the whole monument] as the donation.

26 April 2000 - the monument "Cross of Sorrow" was installed at crossroad Suojärvi-Petrozavodsk. The majority of Karelian officials very support the idea of joint monument to Soviet and Finnish soldiers, but there were/are also some enemies of such monument to friendship between Russia and Finland who ask to make two separate monuments for fallen Soviet and Finnish soldiers or to install monument only to Soviet soldiers.

27 June 2000 - solemn ceremony of grand opening of the monument. Participants: government delegations from Finland, Russia, Karelia; official delegations from Moscow and St.Petersburg; official delegations from Petrozavodsk and Kuopio; members of Russian and Finnish societies of friendships between Russia and Finland; WWII veterans from different towns of Russian and Finland especially of the units participated in Lemetti combats; commanders of Karelian military units; historians, priests from both sides.
The monument was opened by four veterans - Valentin Khaletsky [Russia], Kallervo Savolainen [Finland], Ivan Averin [Russia], Mikko Laylyka [Finland]. Official speeches, concert where Russian and Finnish veterans sang songs including from the time of Winter war period, etc.

At the moment there is a tradition to put flowers to the monument if you reach the crossroads at Lemetti.

P.S. In German journals I found two short descriptions of the memorial - "to Soviet and Finnish soldiers who killed each other here during two wars in 1939-1940 and 1941-1944" and "to Soviet and Finnish war heroes fallen at this place during WWII". I like the second name much more, but this is my personal opinion.

Photo from http://heninen.net/kollaa/kuvia/004.jpg
Image
Reenactment near Lemetti, 2002 - the war came to end :wink:

Regards, BP

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Kimmo
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Post by Kimmo » 28 Jun 2007 18:07

Hello

I thought to share these pictures from my personal archive, which shows a similar tombstone, than can be seen posted by Juha on page two of this thread.

The pictures are taken during the Continuation War in Ruhtinaanmäki. The actual date of the picture is 25th of July 1941. The Infantry Regiment 13 had arrived that morning to Ruhtinaanmäki and the men seemed to have some time to look around.

The picture texts are as can be read from the backside of the picture. The man (Sergeant) in the second picture is from the Infantry Regiment 13.

Kimmo
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Juha Tompuri
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Post by Juha Tompuri » 28 Jun 2007 19:47

Thanks Slava, BP and Kimmo,

Tauno Räisänen at his book writes about his visit at the Lemetti area during (early ?) Continuation War something like this:
...many similar mass graves were along the roads of the "motti"-area. Never did the the text at the monuments tell the number of the fallen. Ruhtinaanmäki was abandoned, only ruins were left from the houses. Couple of graves at both sides of Syksyänjoki (joki = river, JT) indicated that the village was destroyed at fierce battles also to the Russians.
Between Ruhtinaanmäki and Lemetti road crossing, the graves (tumuluses?) were like mileposts...
Regards, Juha

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Post by Slava_M » 29 Jun 2007 08:09

BIGpanzer wrote: Image
...
Photo from http://heninen.net/kollaa/kuvia/004.jpg
Reenactment near Lemetti, 2002 - the war came to end
Thank you for the photos!
I had read this book about Leo Lankinen some time ago.
In reenactment photos - several friends of mine from JP 4 reenactment club.

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