2000 PoWs murdered by Finnish soldiers?

Discussions on the Holocaust and 20th Century War Crimes. Note that Holocaust denial is not allowed. Hosted by David Thompson.
User avatar
KalaVelka
Member
Posts: 1087
Joined: 26 Dec 2002 16:12
Location: Suomi Finland Perkele

2000 PoWs murdered by Finnish soldiers?

Post by KalaVelka » 26 May 2004 17:24

A friend of mine told me about memoirs written by Uuno F. Inkinen and Veikko Mäntylä. They claim that Finnish troopers murdered 2000 russian PoWs in place called Kriv and after that they dug out victims eyes and goldtooths. I dont know the year of this claim or units which were involved.

You could call my friend a commie so I doupt this very much ( I have never ever heard a word about this accident 8O ) but I would like to have confirmation for this.

Thanks
Kasper

User avatar
Harri
Member
Posts: 4230
Joined: 24 Jun 2002 11:46
Location: Suomi - Finland

Post by Harri » 26 May 2004 19:50

That incident was talked about in Finnish "Seura" Magazine. IIRC the figure told in that story was about 200, not 2000? I think this sad incident took place in one battalion only, so killing 2000 POWs doesn't sound very likely. I have to dig my "archives" and books so I can get a better view on the battles at Krivi.

After the war there were lots of rumours and accusations about many kinds of war crimes of Finnish soldiers but many of them have been proven wrong or at least largely exxaggerated. Because there have been hundreds of witnesses it would have been probably that at least some rumours had spread after the war - but there was nothing. It is very strange that this incident has come into discussion now after more than 60 years.

I think individual battalion commander don't have right to order shooting POWs (unless they have been spyes or been in Finnish uniforms), not even a regiment or division commander. So if that is true and 200 or even 2000 POWs have really been shot there is no excuses. The one who gave such an order can for sure be called war criminal. I really would like to know who that officer was?

Mikko H.
Member
Posts: 1665
Joined: 07 May 2003 10:19
Location: Turku, Finland

Post by Mikko H. » 27 May 2004 07:00

There was fierce fighting around Krivi in early 1942. I don't have the sources with me, but IIRC Red Army attacked Finns in January 1942 and took the village of Krivi. After battles lasting for two months Finns were able to recapture the village.

So, if these crimes took place, it would have been in early 1942.

I agree that the number of 2000 sounds exaggerated. There were only some 1000 men in a full strenght Finnish infantry battalion, so they would have had hard time murdering and looting 2000 men, not to speak of getting the gold teeth etc. However, murdering and looting 200 POW's is possible even for a relatively small group of men.

There has always been rumours that Russian soldiers occasionally found it hard to get their surrender accepted by Finns during the Winter War and early Continuation War. But so far only very little has been substantiated. However, this is a subject that has so far been neglected by serious researchers and, of course, the subject's very nature is such that it's very hard to discern the facts after 60 years.

User avatar
KalaVelka
Member
Posts: 1087
Joined: 26 Dec 2002 16:12
Location: Suomi Finland Perkele

Post by KalaVelka » 27 May 2004 08:39

So there arent any hard facts to back up this? I would not consider even in my wildest dreams "Seura" such.

Kasper

User avatar
Wasa
Member
Posts: 300
Joined: 30 Jun 2002 22:26
Location: Umeå, Sweden

Post by Wasa » 27 May 2004 09:34

Don´t know that paper "Seura" but I gather from your post that you probably classify it as "sensationthirsty tabloid". Nevertheless the subject of (alleged?) war crimes on behalf of the finnish armed forces have been large neglected by researchers. Why is that?

User avatar
KalaVelka
Member
Posts: 1087
Joined: 26 Dec 2002 16:12
Location: Suomi Finland Perkele

Post by KalaVelka » 27 May 2004 10:10

Don´t know that paper "Seura" but I gather from your post that you probably classify it as "sensationthirsty tabloid".
Yeah.
Nevertheless the subject of (alleged?) war crimes on behalf of the finnish armed forces have been large neglected by researchers. Why is that?
One thing could be that finnish defence forces fought very "clean" war. I would say that our army made fewest atrocities in the whole second world war. Thats why it is so big thing in here Finland if somebody finds something like this 200(0) pows case (which I dont believe at all until I get satisfying proofs).

Kasper

User avatar
Wasa
Member
Posts: 300
Joined: 30 Jun 2002 22:26
Location: Umeå, Sweden

Post by Wasa » 27 May 2004 10:53

KalaVelka: "fewest attrocities...." ..hm...based on what? That is why I asked about the research, if no one look into these alleged or not war crimes no one can tell how "clean" the bulk of finnish army fought..

User avatar
KalaVelka
Member
Posts: 1087
Joined: 26 Dec 2002 16:12
Location: Suomi Finland Perkele

Post by KalaVelka » 27 May 2004 11:03

Wasa wrote:KalaVelka: "fewest attrocities...." ..hm...based on what? That is why I asked about the research, if no one look into these alleged or not war crimes no one can tell how "clean" the bulk of finnish army fought..
Based on documents and research maybe? Only big "reveal" in the last years was the jewish question. In the past, it was said that Finland gave only 3 or so jewish peoples away, but now the number is like 70 or so (I dont remember it correctly) and this is only what one female leftist researches has "found".

After the war Soviet Union accused Finland for many crimes but they all proved to be bogus. I am not expert in this case but maybe some of our other finnish members could help?

Kasper

User avatar
Wasa
Member
Posts: 300
Joined: 30 Jun 2002 22:26
Location: Umeå, Sweden

Post by Wasa » 27 May 2004 11:11

KalaVelka: That´s why I like this forum. At least someone familiar with the ongoing research ought to be around to answer this.. :wink:

There is of course a wealth of reports on different subjects on the war between Finland and Sovjet but the language barrier prevents at least me to get a grip on what´s going on among the finnish historians..

User avatar
Juha Hujanen
Member
Posts: 2196
Joined: 20 Mar 2002 11:32
Location: Suur-Savo,Finland

Post by Juha Hujanen » 30 May 2004 15:31

There's an book about Finns that SU concidered as warcriminals.The book is Lauri Hyvämäki & Hannu Rautkallio-Lista 1:n Vangit ( Prisoners of List 1).

In October 44 SU produced a list of 61 Finnish soldiers that they concidered as warcriminals.Most of men on list were on guard duties in POW and transit camps during war but some of them were in combat troops.Finnish goverment started to arrest men on list and investigate their possible involment to warcrimes.

The names were transfered from Russian language to Finnish language and were full of mispellings and palin errors.That resulted that many wrong men were arrested and 10 names in list idendity were not find.2 men were died.I'll give few examples of accusations:

General Major Pajari was accused for execution of 32 Soviet POW's by his troops during capture of Suursaari in March 42.When case was examined it was found that alleged units involved to shootings weren't present during capture and POW's that allegly were shot were infact interrogated and send to POW camps.They were returned to SU after armastice.Another accusation was that Pajari's Division had shot PoW's in Vieljärviand Matkaselkä.Neither Pajari or his Division was in that theatre of war.

General Major Palojärvi was accused to given an order to shoot POW's after his wife was killed in partisan ambush.In investigations was found that Palojärvi wasn't in that front during alleged shooting order but infact that sector was in German troops hand.

Sergeant Lindström was accused for shooting of POW but court found that it was case of self-defense and he was set free.

1st Lt.Soininen and Sergeant Hirvonen were accused of shooting of escaping POW.Court find shooting justifield but gave Soininen 8 months and Hirvonen 10 days sentence for errors in interrogation protocol.

The most bizarre case was medical captein Apter.He was accused of collecting skulls of dead Soviets.The source was Finnish medical nco of his unit who had defected to Soviet side during war.He also told that Apter got skulls from Soviet POW's.In investigations was found that Apter had found an skull made of plaster from school in East-Carelia and send it to home.The plaster skull was returned to SU.In another case an skull found from battlefield was preserved and send to hospital as study.

In 1948 all cases were investigated and court had given sentenced.45 men were arrested and investigated.Of those 30 were found not guildy and were released.14 prison sentenced were given.4 of those were less than year,8 over year but less than two year and 2 over two year.By early 1948 all but one were done their time.

Hope this helps

Cheers/Juha

User avatar
Harri
Member
Posts: 4230
Joined: 24 Jun 2002 11:46
Location: Suomi - Finland

Post by Harri » 30 May 2004 17:18

I have also red the book you mentioned, Juha.

I have to clarify that the shootings of POWs did happen at Suursaari. That information is from Niilo Lappalainen's book "Suursaari toisessa maailmansodassa" [Suursaari Island in the Second World War].

The first incident happened on 27.3.1942 when Maj. V. Elovaara's (CO II/JR 6) combat messenger shot two surrendering Soviet soldiers during the battle for Suursaari. Maj. Elovaara was not accused after the war because he hadn't gave an order to shoot but combat messenger was given a sentence of 9 months. The sentence was rather questionable because shootings happened during the combat. Finns were already used to surrendering Soviets who later either exploded hidden hand granade or offered good targets to other Soviet soldiers and snipers. So it was sometimes wise to be cautious.

Another case took place next morning on 28.3.1942. When the company led by Capt. Valpasvuo from Coastal Battalion 2 (CO Maj. V. Sokajärvi) was clearing the area at Pohjoisrivi two Soviet soldiers shot Finnish troops from the trees (the real "cuckoos"?). Both men were captured (onother one was Sergeant) and interrogated but they refused to answer the questions about their grouping and strength.

POWs were then transferred to the command post of Maj. Sokajärvi. He phoned personally to Lt.Col. L. Sotisaari and asked what to do with the POWs. Col. Sotisaari who had been sleeping and had just woke up gave an angry answer: " You don't have to watch them there!" meaning that POWs should be sent further to gathering place of POWs. Maj. Sokajärvi wondered these words a bit but thought then he was ordered to shoot POWs. He also mentioned about the order and his doubt to men around him. POWs were executed.

After the war incident was heard by Valpo (State Police) and both Col. Sotisaari and Maj. Sokajärvi were arrested in February 1946. Soviets of Allied Supervision Commission talked about "human slaughter". After one year handling in the Supreme Military Court Col. Sotisaari was released from imprisonment but Maj. Sokajärvi was given a sentence of four years and four months (he was in prison two years after that). He lost his job in FDF and died only at the age of 45 years.

Return to “Holocaust & 20th Century War Crimes”