border between Finland and the SU shortly after WWII

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knokkelmann1
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border between Finland and the SU shortly after WWII

Post by knokkelmann1 » 05 Nov 2018 03:08

I have always been eager to learn how the first years (after the WWII) of the new border between Finland and the SU looked like. bearing in mind these areas were (and are) pretty sparsely populated, I have always imagined there must have been some (if any) contact among both populations. on the flip side, hamlets and settlements are located quite far away from each other so it would be really interesting to learn how people used to get in touch with each other as the border was permanently closed some years later. If you guys have any useful info/links that'd be awesome. thanks a lot

Swing
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Re: border between Finland and the SU shortly after WWII

Post by Swing » 05 Nov 2018 18:42

I have some information, but, unfortunately, in Russian only.

Lotvonen
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Re: border between Finland and the SU shortly after WWII

Post by Lotvonen » 06 Nov 2018 05:59

As far as I know Finns evacuated the area that was ceded , like 99.9%. So it is unlikely that there was any contact from Finland to the Soviet side, which was depopulated until Soviet authorities sent immigrants. Also the border was closed or sealed off at once, and guarded well.

Swing
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Re: border between Finland and the SU shortly after WWII

Post by Swing » 06 Nov 2018 07:02

I studied this question in Säkkijärvi area and interviewed several frontiersmen. They arrived in March 1945 from Vologda. Immigrants lived in very strict conditions and often went to work under escort of borderguards. It was forbidden to lock houses at night, as NKVD often checked documents in nighttime. But all veterans remember about illegal visits of Finns, moreover one old man from Vilajoki told me that one Finn came to their house and asked for food. They had dinner together, then he went on, but was soon arrested by border guards. In 1958 (!) four Russian children from Velikoe (Siissala) crawled under the fence, illegally visited Finland and returned back.

Mangrove
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Re: border between Finland and the SU shortly after WWII

Post by Mangrove » 06 Nov 2018 08:37

Last year Yleisradio (YLE) wrote a story in Finnish of a woman who has lived a few meters from the border since 1954.
Suomalainen isoäiti asuu Venäjän rajaviivalla – Näin kotitalo pelastettiin Neuvostoliiton kaappaukselta

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Juha Tompuri
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Re: border between Finland and the SU shortly after WWII

Post by Juha Tompuri » 07 Nov 2018 21:10

Image
Movie Hopeaa Rajan Takaa (Silver Behind the Border)
Summer 1941, soon after the Finnish Winter War. Wist and Anttala are young war veterans whose homes ended up on the wrong side of the new border after the Soviet Union claimed ownership of the Finnish Karelia as a result of the war. The men decide to reclaim a chest full of silver that was hidden under Wist's home before the family was evacuated to Finland. Together with Paukku, a third young man with less experience in risky situations, they cross the border at nighttime and start their dangerous expedition through Soviet terrain.
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0137003/

Trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpT_ExSzo_8

Regards, Juha

knokkelmann1
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Re: border between Finland and the SU shortly after WWII

Post by knokkelmann1 » 08 Nov 2018 17:19

Lotvonen wrote:
06 Nov 2018 05:59
As far as I know Finns evacuated the area that was ceded , like 99.9%. So it is unlikely that there was any contact from Finland to the Soviet side, which was depopulated until Soviet authorities sent immigrants. Also the border was closed or sealed off at once, and guarded well.
but was the border closed and sealed off right after the war was over? to me, it seems the process of closing and sealing off was a bit like the one between west and east germany, I mean there were some months (years) when the border was practically porous and thus some free movement possible. also, I think some parts of the border weren't changed at all and the population was to some degree intact- except for the Karelian and salla/Petsamo ones ceded to the SU. it is simply hard to imagine that the SU was able to put a fence/make a vista immediately after the war.

knokkelmann1
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Re: border between Finland and the SU shortly after WWII

Post by knokkelmann1 » 08 Nov 2018 17:32

Mangrove wrote:
06 Nov 2018 08:37
Last year Yleisradio (YLE) wrote a story in Finnish of a woman who has lived a few meters from the border since 1954.
Suomalainen isoäiti asuu Venäjän rajaviivalla – Näin kotitalo pelastettiin Neuvostoliiton kaappaukselta
thanks! wish I had spent more time studying the Finnish language at the university! great pictures - so the upshot of the article is she lived in some sort of exclave in the Russian territory ?

knokkelmann1
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Re: border between Finland and the SU shortly after WWII

Post by knokkelmann1 » 08 Nov 2018 17:32

Juha Tompuri wrote:
07 Nov 2018 21:10
Image
Movie Hopeaa Rajan Takaa (Silver Behind the Border)
Summer 1941, soon after the Finnish Winter War. Wist and Anttala are young war veterans whose homes ended up on the wrong side of the new border after the Soviet Union claimed ownership of the Finnish Karelia as a result of the war. The men decide to reclaim a chest full of silver that was hidden under Wist's home before the family was evacuated to Finland. Together with Paukku, a third young man with less experience in risky situations, they cross the border at nighttime and start their dangerous expedition through Soviet terrain.
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0137003/

Trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpT_ExSzo_8

Regards, Juha

thanks a lot!

knokkelmann1
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Re: border between Finland and the SU shortly after WWII

Post by knokkelmann1 » 08 Nov 2018 17:36

Swing wrote:
06 Nov 2018 07:02
I studied this question in Säkkijärvi area and interviewed several frontiersmen. They arrived in March 1945 from Vologda. Immigrants lived in very strict conditions and often went to work under escort of borderguards. It was forbidden to lock houses at night, as NKVD often checked documents in nighttime. But all veterans remember about illegal visits of Finns, moreover one old man from Vilajoki told me that one Finn came to their house and asked for food. They had dinner together, then he went on, but was soon arrested by border guards. In 1958 (!) four Russian children from Velikoe (Siissala) crawled under the fence, illegally visited Finland and returned back.
wow, this story about the kids is really interesting. that guy who was arrested - when did that happen? in the 40s? I am just curious if any SU citizens tried to escape to Finland - I have read somewhere that both countries agreed on sending escapees back to the SU.

Swing
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Re: border between Finland and the SU shortly after WWII

Post by Swing » 08 Nov 2018 20:31

knokkelmann1 wrote:
08 Nov 2018 17:36
wow, this story about the kids is really interesting. that guy who was arrested - when did that happen? in the 40s? I am just curious if any SU citizens tried to escape to Finland - I have read somewhere that both countries agreed on sending escapees back to the SU.
All information is based on private interviews.
1.Trip to Finland: I met with one of participants, in 1958 she was 10 years old. Four children came along the forest road to the Finnish village. When they heard an unfamiliar words, they understood that they were in Finland and turned back. In Russia they were arrested by borderguards, but released soon. Commander of frontier post lost his position after this event.
2. Finnish visit to Vilajoki (now Baltiets, about 15 km from borderline). Event was in 1950 or 1951. That time my informer was a little boy, but remember it very well. After dinner together with Russians Finnish guy went to the center of Vilajoki and was arrested there. His further fate is unknown. There are a number of witnesses about Finnish unlegal visits to Säkkijärvi area in the end of 1940s and beginning of 1950s. Similar situation was in other areas of ceded Finnish Karelia.

knokkelmann1
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Re: border between Finland and the SU shortly after WWII

Post by knokkelmann1 » 09 Nov 2018 06:39

Four children came along the forest road to the Finnish village. When they heard an unfamiliar words, they understood that they were in Finland and turned back. In Russia they were arrested by borderguards, but released soon. Commander of frontier post lost his position after this event.


wow, how did those kids manage to cross the border unnoticed? you mentioned there was a fence (?) and they crawled under I?. how did the physical border look like back then? just a vista? or was it similar to the border between DDR and w germany?

Mangrove
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Re: border between Finland and the SU shortly after WWII

Post by Mangrove » 09 Nov 2018 06:51

knokkelmann1 wrote:
08 Nov 2018 17:32
great pictures - so the upshot of the article is she lived in some sort of exclave in the Russian territory ?
The farmstead she lived in was never part of an exclave, the Moscow Peace Treaty map was drawn in medium scale map which was open to interpretations. In many places the border was slightly adjusted if the new border would have split villages and farmsteads in half.

Here's a dissertation for master's degree related to the topic in hand. Elämää rajavyöhykkeellä: Erityismääräyksien vaikutus rajaseudulla asuneiden elämään vuosina 1944-1954 - Ville Thomsson ("Life in the Border Zone: The Effect of Special Degrees to the Lives of People Living in the Border Region Between 1944 and 1954")

Swing
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Re: border between Finland and the SU shortly after WWII

Post by Swing » 09 Nov 2018 13:17

knokkelmann1 wrote:
09 Nov 2018 06:39

wow, how did those kids manage to cross the border unnoticed? you mentioned there was a fence (?) and they crawled under I?. how did the physical border look like back then? just a vista? or was it similar to the border between DDR and w germany?
There was a barbed tape fence without any alarm system in that time, Photo 1. Border guards periodically walked along the control zone and checked footprints on the sand. You can see remains of old fence at Photo 2, downloaded from Panoramio few years ago.
Photo 1.jpg
Photo 2.jpg
It is a detailed story about illegal crossing of Soviet-Finnish border in 1970s (IN RUSSIAN) based on the book "Escape from Paradise" by Alex Shatravka
https://ua-antivisa.livejournal.com/117731.html or https://karel500.livejournal.com/26788.html
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knokkelmann1
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Re: border between Finland and the SU shortly after WWII

Post by knokkelmann1 » 11 Nov 2018 00:39

thanks a lot for your post.

so this is how the border looked like between Finland and the SU in the south of the border area or some other parts of the border (especially in the north) were virtually unguarded for some time? I have seen a plethora of pictures of the vista and the fence itself but I can hardly imagine the (proper) border fence was erected as early as 1947-1950. in other words, were there any starches of land unguarded, unpatrolled and simply considered to be "desolate" ? just like you said, a forest road lost in taiga...

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