- Posts: 803
- Joined: 25 Jun 2007 11:17
- Location: Finland
Partisan girl in Vihtavaara
Journal "Kansa Taisteli", 10, 1961
The final months of the Continuation war were very restless in the Kuhmo border regions, Large enemy patrols kept coming from Russia and they were wreaking havoc among peaceful civilian population. Partisans could stay in one place for a longer time, as it is known to have happened in Kuumu village in Northern Kuhmo. They settled in hay barns, even built dugouts. May it be mentioned here that in the great unemployment and famine year 1927 a total of 29 young men left Kuumu village, crossing the Russian border. Nothing certain was ever found out about them but some people in Kuumu think they recognized some among the partisans. They may have been guides, wanting to settle old scores with certain people.
It was 24th November 1943. Police officer, Constable Antti Joronen, in official business in Iivantiira village in Northern Kuhmo, was informed that to the North of the village, in Vihtavaara, had the previous night arrived a woman dressed in Russian military uniform, and it was suspected she had arrived from the far side of the border. Constable Joronen immediately set out to Vihtavaara and managed to arrest the woman who did not resist. The arrested was taken to Kuhmo where the police questioned her.
At the time this happened there was just one farmstead at Vihtavaara, the farmer was Kalle Niskanen. His son Eino had been mobilized and taken POW. This is the last that had been heard about the son until autumn 1943.
Now the arrested woman told that her name was Aino Karhu, daughter of Matti, born 8th May 1925 at Uhtua. His parents Matti and Iida Karhu resided in Kem. She had had a 10 year education that she had started at Uhtua, continuing in Petroskoi and completed at Kem. After the school she had worked as “reistrator” in the Hospital for Railway Workers in Kem until August 1941.
Then volunteers were sought by the Komsomol for various military duties, the girl had been ordered to Sorokka (Belomorsk) where she was made to study espionage in a tight schedule. The course took one and a half month, no more. When in Sorokka she had to live alone, she was denied all social contacts. End of September (1943) she was considered to be well enough trained and she was prepared for a spying task. Due to bad flying weather her mission was delayed until October. One October night the first attempt was made but the girl did not dare to parachute because the terrain was totally dark. At the end of the month two more attempts had been made but she had still not dared to jump.
Finally the mission had started on the night of 20 November 1943 and she had parachuted at midnight. The a/c had been a two seater R-5 crewed by a pilot and a mechanic in addition to the girl. The jump had been successful although the altitude had been just 200m. Having landed she had signalled with her pocket torch as ordered but when doing that she found that the a/c was gone. She had been told that the a/c would airdrop a container with food for 45 days, clothing items and batteries for radio. She did not find it in the darkness although she had done her best. She had kept searching for two more days but in vain. She had spent her nights at the edge of a bog on fir boughs and in hay barns. She had not been able to make fire because she did not have any tools and all wood was damp.
She had cut up her parachute for foot rags and scarves. When parachuted she had food for just a couple of days: pork and rye bread. Having failed to find out the airdropped container she started her journey using her map and compass for the Vihtavaara farm as she had been ordered to do. Once there she at first entered the cow-house, where the daughter of the farmer soon came and was badly frightened. The partisan girl enquired if she found herself at Vihtavaara but the daughter did not listen but ran out headlong. She alerted the people in the house and everyone joined the escape to North. In the meanwhile the brave partisan girl entered the house, climbed on the oven and soon fell into deep sleep. She had been fatigued and her toes were frostbitten. Next day she was arrested as described above.
Miss Karhu had been given the following spying task:
As soon as she had landed she was to go to Vihtavaara and without hesitation address the farmer, Kalle Niskanen, whose son had been taken POW in August of the same year at Rukajärvi. She had been given three photos of Eino Niskanen, the son, and two letters with the following content:
“Your son Eino.
Father i am writing you this letter from a Soviet Union hospital on 16th day August i had been reconning I was badly wounded at leg left behind in Forest. If this Girl had not found me you could have considered me Dead. Now i am getting better already. In some 2,5 months ant I shall be quite well. Father, the Girl that is bringing you this letter is the same one who Saved me from Dying. She is a nurse If you Hide her and help Her in everything then I shall return home as soon as I am totally all right. You shall Understand Father that this is what we must do for our People and I am asking you to believe that my coming home does not depend on me but also on how you start helping this Girl. Do not doubt this is all true This saving your son and helping our People.
Father you cannot talk about this girl to anyone, not even to Mother or sisters. For the first days can hide the girl in the gorges at Velma or in a barn and later in the haystacks at Vihtasuo or in the Cow-house attic among the Hay finally you must set up the girl to live in our House as if she were a relative of ours or Father's relative. The girl is Rich who can with her money help you from the very beginning and later with other goods. Included in this letter of mine I am sending photographs taken in this hospital I am warning you once more that this is a very important matter to receive this girl and do everything as I am asking you. Then I too shall return to you. Wait for me Father – Your Son Eino Niskanen”
[Tried to convey the style and grammar errors. Tr.Rem.]
The second letter:
“Your son Eino – Dear Father I am writing you another letter one I already wrote and it has been brought to you by This Aino is interesting to me who is there who we have. How is her health Plenty of Thanks to Aino and Soviet Doctors My leg is healed and I am all right myself I am able to work by now but my leg gets tired the doctors tell me it gets tired because not having walked for a long time Walking forbidden Do not wait for me to come home because it is difficult to come as one cannot walk long distance with this leg I have it good here in Soviet Union I am together with other finlands soldiers Father do not expect many letters from me because it is difficult to write from here I am warning you that do not tell anyone about these my letters Write me how You are doing and how Aino is doing - Written by your son Eino – I am enclosing my photos with this letter”
The partisan girl had a typed copy of the first letter and an ink copy of the second one. The girl explained that Eino had told that Farmer Kalle Niskanen has problems in reading hand written text and she insisted that Eino himself had written the original letters while she was present. Further the girl told that a man was to arrive at Vihtavaara on the 25th November with instructions for further action. She did not know more about the man, she just knew he was already in Finland. If the man should not arrive on the agreed day she was to wait until the end of the month and in case the man had still not arrived she was to go to a defined hilltop and make there three campfires in the outline of a triangle. In case of inclement weather she was to repeat the same on December 10th, 20th and 30th. The girl had Finnish money 31170 FIM [a solid sum]. She had not been advised how to spend the money. In case she would not be able to contact the man in Finland or airmen she was to return after 30th December back to Russia via Kostamus-Luusalmi. Red Army would receive her in the last mentioned place.
This was the incident at Vihtavaara.
After the girl had been arrested enemy radio broadcasts began to include threats that revenge would be exacted at Vihtavaara. There were rumours all over the border regions on enemy partisan movements and the people in Vihtavaara were living in constant fear.
Eino Niskanen returned from captivity soon after the war had ended. Of course he did not know anything about “Aino” nor other matters concerning his time as POW.
[The incident has a connection with the massacre at Hirvivaara on 24th July 1944. The author was a clergyman of Finnish Lutheran Church in the border region] .
Due to locked-out public libraries there was no chance to cross-check the facts with other sources.]
- Posts: 756
- Joined: 20 Nov 2006 22:49
- Location: Finland
https://www.epressi.com/tiedotteet/hist ... lo-14.html
https://www.kirkkojakaupunki.fi/-/oliko ... 2#e4584e81
- Posts: 4785
- Joined: 15 Jun 2004 15:19
- Location: Finland
Vaeltaja wrote: ↑15 May 2013 16:59So.. I am fairly well aware of the attacks against civilians for which there appear to be existing threads so let's try to avoid concentrating on those.
As to the actual question... What did the partisans accomplish? I mean what they did they accomplish in reality, not in the rather imaginative descriptions found from Soviet era archives.
I think it was to create terror...and desperation.
150 women and children were murdered by soviet desants aka partisans.
Pure horror act said local who had seen it.
No military aim...just killing and looting.
- Posts: 4785
- Joined: 15 Jun 2004 15:19
- Location: Finland
Mangrove wrote: ↑10 Feb 2020 18:55Original at RGASPI Fond 69, Opis 1, Delo 428. "Enemy losses caused by partisan detachments of the Karelian front between August 1941 and 1 January 1943:
1. 4065 soldiers and officers killed, of which: Colonels - 1, Majors - 2, Officers - 58.
2. Captured - 48
3. Over 1300 injured
4. Derailed trains (?, проведено крушений ж.д.зшелон) - 8
5. Steam locomotives broken - 6
6. Train cars broken - 127
7. Burned tank cars - 4
8. Tanks destroyed - 2
9. Aircraft (destroyed) - 4
10. Armored cars - 1
11. Freight trucks - 123
12. Passenger cars - 18
13. Bicycles - 84
14. Machine guns - 16
15. Rifles - 198
16. Automatic (rifles) - 34
17. Mortars - 10
18. Heavy tractors - 3
19. Radio stations - 8
20. Over 90000 cartridges
21. Blown up bridges - 98
22. Of which, railway - 4
23. Defeated garrisons - 12
24. Mined roads - 26 km
25. Over 50 km of telephone and telegraph wires
26. Burned settlements - 10, containing 158 buildings
27. Over 250 destroyed cattle/livestock
28. Vehicles loaded with ammunition - 6 and 1 of them with shells
29. Over 3000 people transported out.
1. Automatic (rifles) - 61
2. Rifles - 224
3. Machine guns - 48
4. Pistols - 26
5. Over 32000 cartridges
6. TNT (?, "толу") - 500 kg
7. Radio stations - 3
and other military property, equipment and food supplies, secret documents, operational maps, ciphers, codes, seals and other correspondence. Representative of the Central Headquarters of the Partisan Movement, member of the military council of the Karelian Front - Brigade Commander S. Vershinin."
This was 99% fantasy ?
150 civilians killed...no army personnel ?