Atrocities of Soviet partisans against Finnish civilians

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Atrocities of Soviet partisans against Finnish civilians

Post by JTV » 16 Sep 2005 10:20

Recently some discussion about atrocities committed by Soviet military during World War 2 emerged in "Multimedia Map of the War (Eastern Front). In English." title in the Related Websites section. While discussing the matter the subject of atrocities committed by Soviet partisans against Finnish civilians came under discussion and further information was asked. However as I feel that the subject is pretty much off-topic in there here is the further information. These attacks done between 1941 - 1944 targeted small villages in north-east and eastern Finland. Large majority of the persons whom the Soviet partisans killed in them were not soldiers but unarmed civilians. The total number of civilians killed in these attacks was 147.

Below are notes that I wrote few years ago. They are mostly based to two books published in Finland 1998. They caused lot of public discussion back then and large variety of newspaper articles about the subject. This was partly because the victims of these attacks and their relatives had not been allowed to tell their story earlier (considered bad for Finnish - Soviet relations?). During the research done for these two books the authors had interviewed number of persons, who had served in the partisan units in Finnish front during the period (1941 - 1944) and used also Soviet archives for their research. As seen some claim that these attacks were crimes made by individuals, but considering the large number of attacks and whole organised partisan units taking part in them for my opinion this is highly questionable point of view. Anyway here are the notes for you to make your own conclusions.


THE CHILLING DOCUMENTS:

-------------------------------------
Source: Swedish document "Vaiettu Sota" showing first page of Swedish-made coroner’s protocol. List of deceased.

"Protocol from coroners autopsy about cause of death made in Savukoski village at 16th of July 1944. Cause of death investigation was made to 11 persons that were killed by Soviet partisans attacking to Seitajärvi village of Savukoski at 7th of the same month:

1. Arajärvi, Aina Alfhilda, born 7th of August 1892
2. Arajärvi, Anna-Liisa born 7th of February 1928
3. Arajärvi, Martta Annikki born 3rd of June 1929
4. Arajärvi, Siiri Alfhilda born 25th of December 1931
5. Arajärvi, Valma Inkeri born 12th of July 1939
6. Pulska, Elli born 20th of July 1924
7. Pulska, Ritva aged about 6 months
8. Arajärvi, Katri Susanna born 23rd of November 1937
9. Arajärvi, Maija-Liisa born 12th of May 1941
10. Arajärvi, Tyyne Onnia 12th of December 1905
11. Ylilokka, Leila Kustava 12th of April 1930

Autopsy was participated by following persons:
- County coroner P. Leisti, who led before mentioned autopsies
- Medical Captain M. E. Krusius
- Major E. Wegelius
- Lieutenant J. V. Karvonen
- Lieutenant Matti Oinonen
- Midwife Elli Oinonen
- Doctor Richard Lindgren (called from Sweden and sent by Swedish authorities after receiving Finnish request) from Haparanda
- Newspaper reporters H. Karlson from Boden and Bengt Svanberg from Haparanda.
- As a protocol writer worked attorney Esko Enojärvi from Kemi-Lappi area."

Worth noticing: All 11 victims were female and 7 of them are under aged.

---------------------------------------

LOKKA VILLAGE:

Victims of Soviet partisans (source: "Neuvostoliiton partisaanien iskut siviilikyliin 1941- 44") in attack to Lokka village at 14th of July 1944. Only killed and wounded included:

- Matti Säärelä, shot near family house.
- Lyydia Säärelä, shot near family house.
- Linnea Kalvakka, shot while holding two infants in a boat.
- Aino Säärelä (age 3), wounded when her mother was shot.
- Timo Säärelä (age 1 year 10 months), wounded when his mother was shot.
- Paula Sergejeff, shot near family house.
- Raimo Säärelä (age 5), shot near family house.
- Eeva Pyhäjärvi, wounded lethally from bullets while trying to return to search her children.
- Taisto Pyhäjärvi (age 3 years 7 months) wounded during escape.
- Senja Lokka, pregnant, wounded from bullets lethally while in the boat.
- Antero Lokka, (Senja's son) shot while in the boat beside his mother.
- Enna Neitola, burned in cattle house.
- Raili Neitola, wounded at entry of cattle house.
- Maria Vitikka, burned in cattle house.
- Aleksius Lokka, escaped thought kitchen window, wounded.
- Elina Lokka, shot in her home, didn't have enough time to escape.
- Irma Ylisokka (foster-child, age 13), shot inside house
- Urpo Yliriesto (age 4), shot at entry of house, corpse burned
- Katri Yliriesto (mother of Urpo), shot while in the boat
- Hilma Manninen (family mother), wounded, managed to avoid detection by hiding in furrow of potato field
- Varpu Manninen (age 9), taken as prisoner by partisans, returned
to Finland after war with POWs.
- Jenni Ikonen (age 31), wounded lethally while trying to search her children.
- Selma Kavakka (age 61, family mother) wounded in river bench, died later to her wounds in the hospital.
- Paavo Kavakka, shot near the river.
- Johannes Kumpula, wounded, managed escaping to river bench.
- Hilja Kumpula (family mother, age 30) and her 5 children
- Lauri Kumpula (age 9)
- Ritva Kumpula (age 7)
- Martti Kumpula (age 5)
- Aino Kumpula (age 2)
- Siiri Kumpula (age 1)
Were all six burned in basement of schoolhouse.
Partisans started their attack to Lokka village at 17:45. People in village were waiting to be evacuated (Seitajärvi massacre had finally woken the authorities). Those who survived this massacre did so by hiding or escaping over the nearby river with rowing boats.


KUOSKUNKYLÄ VILLAGE:

Attack to Kuoskunkylä village of Savukoski, 3rd of October 1941.
Attack made by separate infantry company gathered among troops of 101st Frontier regiment and commanded by Captain Kalasnikov. . Kalasnikov and Skripnik commanded the groups that attacked to Kuoskunkylä village. The village is also known with a shorter name "Kuosku". In this case buildings of the village were first set on fire and the civilians trying to escape from burning buildings were shot. The attack started around 4 AM and Soviet troops managed to get into village before being noticed. During the attack 6 civilians were killed and the partisans burned half the village before sound of a closing car spooked them and they left.
Killed and wounded of this attack:
- Family father Augusti Pulska, wounded when shot. Died later in hospital.
- Family mother Sannu Pulska. Soviets dragged her to the road and tried to executed her there by shooting, however she survived even if seriously wounded (bullets hit to her lung and foot).
- Anni Pulska (age 5), killed (9 wounds) at yard of her home.
- Aaro Stjerna (age 3), killed by exploding bullet that hit to his stomach
- Bror Aleksanteri Junttila (family father), shotten near river
- Maria Susanna Junttila (family mother), wounded to chest and
foot, survived
- Day before Kuoskunkylä attack partisans captured and executed
near the village (remains found few years later):
- Ilmari Pulska, farmer and one-handed invalid, executed by shooting
- Hilkka Alatalo (assintant girl), executed by shooting


HOUSES OF MAGGA:

Houses of Magga family (Magga family of Samé people owned two houses outlying near village of Yliluiro), these were attacked by partisans 19th of August 1943. Dead and wounded of this attack:
- Brita Johanna Magga (family mother), shot at doorstep.
- Elsa Maria Magga (family mother), shot just outside house.
- Onni Magga (family son): wounded (bullet to neck), survived
- Pauli Armas Magga (son, age 2), burned to death with the house
- Oula Antero Magga (just born infant), burned to death with the house
This particular attack was made by "Bolsevik Zapoljarja" commanded by Aleksander Smirnov.


SEITAJÄRVI VILLAGE:

Seitajärvi village 7th of July 1944, attack and mass-execution after that:
(see: swedish autopsy protocol translation above for more details).
Partisans started their attack around 3 AM. Killed and wounded of this attack:
- Valtteri Ollila (age 16), captured taken prisoner and executed later.
- Eliisi Ollila (age 17), captured taken prisoner and executed later.
- Leila Kustaava Ylilokka (aged 14), captured and executed at place of massacre.
- Tyyne Arajärvi (family daughter), shot in the village.
Victims of the massacre, which the partisans all executed together near the village after the attack:
- Jalmari Arajärvi (family father), died
- Aina Arajärvi (family mother), died
- Elli Arajärvi (family daughter), died
- Anna-Liisa Arajärvi (family daughter), died
- Maija-Liisa Arajärvi, died
- Katri Susanna Arajärvi, died
- Martta Annikki Arajärvi (family daughter), died
- Siiri Alfhilda Arajärvi (family daughter), died
- Valma Arajärvi (family daughter), died
- Ritva Annikki Pulska (family daughter, infant), died
- Mirja Arajärvi (family daughter), wounded (bayoneted repeatedly), survived
Methods partisans used in this massacre were bayoneting, stabbing and shooting. Forensic evidence gathered on site suggested that the females killed in this massacre had possibly been raped before executing (according several eye witnesses there were obvious signs suggesting this). During attack one soldier protecting the village was killed in battle and 2 others that the Soviets captured they also executed later. Some extremely horrible photographs taken about this case exist. They were taken while doing crime-scene investigation and are shown in both books listed as sources. According the books they published were not the most horrible ones – they were simply too terrible to be allowed to be published. If anyone doubts these cases and wants to puke their guts out even the most horrible photos of this crime scene investigation remain in "Puolustusvoimien kuvaosasto" (photo-archives of Finnish Defence Forces, located in Helsinki). At least one female partisan was among the partisans responsible for this massacre. She commanded the civilians to leave from village with partisans (victims had only their pyjamas/underwear on) and walk to the place where they were massacred. Most victims of the massacre had been commanded to lay in the ground face down and then shot to back of the head.

OTHER VILLAGES ATTACKED:

Other Finnish villages attacked by Soviet partisans between 1941 - 1944 (list may not be complete):

Attacks to area of Ylivuokki at summer of 1943:
1. Attack to Hyry village:
- 11 civilians killed (including parents of Eino Kinnunen mentioned below).
2. Attack to villages of Viiangi and Malahvia:
- 19 civilians killed
3. Tuppuri house (home of Iisakki Kyllönen, single parent and his 4 children)
- Three of the civilians killed in this attack:
- Iisakki Kyllönen, killed with bayonets and axes.
- Heimo Kyllönen (aged 16), killed with bayonets and axes.
- Sulo Kyllönen (aged 20), taken as prisoner by partisans. Never heard since, assumed death.

Kuorajärvi village
Kontiovaara village
Korpivaara village
Viiksimö village
Kurkivaara village
Hirvivaara village
Kuoliovaara village
Suorajärvi village
Lämsänkylä village
Murtovaara village

Hautajärvi village
- Attack made by "Imeni Thcapajeva" partisan unit, the civilians killed:
- Ossi Hautajärvi (family father, age 39), taken prisoner and then executed.
- Maire Hautajärvi (daughter, age 16), taken prisoner and then executed.
- Aaro Hautajärvi (son, age 12), taken prisoner and then executed.
- Svante Kangas (family summer employee, age 17), taken prisoner and then executed.
- Iisakki Hautajärvi (adult, grandfather?), shot on the spot.
- Partisan unit attacked against civilians working on the field, they shot one civilian in the field during attack, took four as prisoners and executed these later.

Niemelä Village
Pirttivaara village
Levävaara village

Viiksimö village 15th of July 1943:
- 5 civilians (women and chidren) killed. Without heroism of Hilja Heikkinen (she pushed off the submachinegun of closest partisan just as they were about to execute civilians collected next to wall of house) the whole villages population would have likely been killed.
- Nikolai Shestakov, who was leader of this partisan unit was heavily criticised by his superiors after return for not bringing any prisoners and executing Jevgeni Kuzlov, who had been wounded to leg (the same partisans fought small battles against Finnish troops 18th and 21st of July. Kuzlov was wounded in one of these battles).

STORY OF VICTIM WHO SURVIVED:

Eino Kinnunen (aged 13 when while things happened):
- Captured by partisans while he was looking scythe from field of grass.
- Interrogated about soldiers in area (and beaten with fists and rifle butts during the interrogation).
- After interrogation he was told that he could go, but after few steps shot twice into back. One of the bullets went extremely close to heart just missing it. Practically a miracle that he survived.

INTERESTING POINTS:

Did Soviets recruit criminals to these partisan units (some sources suggest so)? From interviews:

- Dmitrijenko: Over 60 of 140-150 strong "Stalinets" were ex-criminals who had been in jail before war, they had volunteered to "pay their crime with blood - either with their own or blood of others". Also Kalasnikov told that "Partisan units (the two from which he had personal experience) had small-level criminals released from prison camps to serve in these units", However according Kalasnikov among them were no murderers or rapists or other serious offenders.

The matter of responsibility. Who made the decision to kill civilians?:

- Russian historian when being asked if these criminals were allowed to kill, burn and rape at their own will: "Nothing could not have been made without order from commanding officer. Otherwise the perpetrators would have been shot".
- The general attitude among the units likely effected how they acted. Dmitrijenko: “We killed even our own wounded after some attacks”.
- Making up lies for reports seems to have been usual policy for partisan units committing atrocities, when it comes into attacks against the small villages. Typical lie was to claim that villages had/or were garrisons and that partisans killed tens or hundreds of soldiers in each attack. In reality some villages had small guard-posts of few soldiers, while most had no soldiers at all. Finnish civilian population was almost totally unarmed in all of the villages early on. Later Finnish authorities issued some rifles to civilians of villages near the Soviet border, as the danger of partisan attacks against their population had become obvious. One of the reasons for fabricating the lies seems to have been fear of getting punished if there are no enough results to report. So in partisan reports civilian villages turned to garrisons and unarmed civilians into armed military units.

Who selected the small villages without any military value as targets? This matter is especially important if the higher ups knew about the atrocities the units they sent to missions were doing:
- Aleksander Smirnov: "HQ of Belomorsk always commanded to destroy the whole target and nobody in there to be saved."
- Kalasnikov: "Seitajärvi village was selected as target by partisans themselves". Conclusion: Uncertain, did this vary from one Partisan unit to another?

THE SOVIET PARTISAN UNITS RESPONSIBLE:

Soviet Partisan units identified responsible for these attacks:
- "Poljarnik", established 19th of February 1942, strength 100 - 120 men.
- "Bolsevik Zapoljarja", established 13th of August 1942, lead by Aleksander Smirnov.
- "Sovjetskij Murman", established 13th of August 1942, lead by Sergej Kurojedov
- "Bolsevik", established at 21th of August 1942, lead by Georgij Armatovich Kalasnikov.
- "Stalinets", established at 21th of August 1942,lead first by Sysojev (killed at autumn of 1943) at later lead by Vassily Afanasjevich Gontarenko (who lead
the attack to village of Lokka).

Also four Soviet partisan units located more south in Karelia made attacks to villages in Finnish Lapland:
- "Krasnoje Znamja"
- "Doevye Druzja"
- "Mstitely"
- "Imeni Thcapajeva"

Partisan groups were responsible to Communist party instead of normal military officials. Interviewed partisans admitted that they mostly killed civilians and burned their houses, post offices and schools.

SOURCES (the two books):

- Vaiettu sota: Neuvostoliiton partisaanien iskut suomalaisiin kyliin (The muted war: Attacks of Soviet Partisans to Finnish Villages) by Veikko Erkkilä. Published 1998.
- Neuvostoliiton partisaanien tuhoiskut siviilikyliin 1941 - 1944 (Destructive attacks of Soviet Partisans to Civilian Villages 1941 - 1944) by Tyyne Martikainen. Published 1998.

Russians, who participated the research for the books:
- Dashinskij, Stanislav. Russian historian, who has published some of these findings in Russia.
- Jefremov, Igor. Russian reportage maker, has investigated the subject.
- Lokka, Sven (interpreter)
- Kusmitshkova, Ljudmila (from Murmask television).

Russians interviewed for the books:
- Smirnov, Aleksander. Leader of "Bolsevik Zapoljarja" partisan unit, which made 13 trips to Finland (Laanila
and Yliluiro villages were among their targets). Later after World War 2 Smirnov wrote a book in which he makes himself and his partisan unit great heroes and told remarkable lies about their attacks to villages.
- Kalasnikov, Georgij Artamonovich (the man leading Kuosjärvi attack, later leader of "Bolsevik" partisan unit.
- Dmitrijenko, Nikolaj Vassilevitch (squad leader of "Stalinets" leading the first attacking squad in Lokka attack).
- Tchuprov, Konstantin. Participated in Lokka attack. When interviewed showed regret about the things that he had done (saw nightmares for them a long time).
- Golubev, Anatoli (partisan).
- Derjabina, Valentina (partisan)
- Kovrov, Fjodor (partisan)
- Gavrilov, Aleksei (partisan, explosives expert)
- Astahov, Vladimir (partisan)
- Smirnov, Valentin (partisan, self-confessed executioner of Eliisi Ollila after Seitajärvi attack). Had become in love with Eliisi before being commanded executing her and when interviewed told that had seen nightmares about is since, told that he strongly regretted what he had done.
- Lobuh, Helga (partisan)
Last edited by JTV on 16 Sep 2005 11:49, edited 3 times in total.

Tero
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Post by Tero » 16 Sep 2005 11:36

You better replace that 8) with 8 ) so as not to make it look silly.

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Post by Esa K » 16 Sep 2005 11:38

Just a small addendum, for those who read Swedish Erkkilä, Veikko: Vaiettu sota... is translated into Swedish:

Erkkilä, Veikko: Det nedtystade kriget : när sovjetiska partisaner anföll finska gränsbyar, Stockholm : Hjalmarson & Högberg 2001 ISBN: 91-89080-74-2

and Tyyne martikainen have written an other study about the topic:

Martikainen, Tyyne: Partisaanisodan siviiliuhrit. Espoo 2002 ISBN: 952-91-4327-3

The titel translates to ”The civil victims of the partisan war”, and, also this book, a shortened version, is translated into Swedish:

Martikainen, Tyyne: Skräck och förtvivlan i finska Lappland, Kemi : Värisuora, 2002
ISBN: 951-98964-1-4


regards

Esa K

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Post by JTV » 16 Sep 2005 11:42

Tero wrote:You better replace that 8) with 8 ) so as not to make it look silly.


Damn. :x I didn't even notice that in the hurry. Thanks for bringing that up. Definetely NOT a document to which I would add smileys.

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Post by Tero » 16 Sep 2005 11:44

JTV wrote:
Tero wrote:You better replace that 8) with 8 ) so as not to make it look silly.


Damn. :x I didn't even notice that in the hurry. Thanks for bringing that up. Definetely NOT a document to which I would add smileys.


Hate to point this out but you missed one. 18) should be 18 ).

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Post by JTV » 16 Sep 2005 12:06

Tero wrote:
JTV wrote:
Tero wrote:You better replace that 8) with 8 ) so as not to make it look silly.


Damn. :x I didn't even notice that in the hurry. Thanks for bringing that up. Definetely NOT a document to which I would add smileys.


Hate to point this out but you missed one. 18) should be 18 ).


Thanks, noticed it and fixed it in second editing (about the same time you sent that message). :D

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Re: Atrocities of Soviet partisans against Finnish civilians

Post by Topspeed » 23 May 2011 16:27

I think these attrocities took place all over the borderline.

A year ago talked to guy in swimming hall he said all but he got killed in his village..sister brothers parents...he just run away and never saw the relatives/friends again..this was much lower than Lokka somewhere closer to Sotkamo. He was still shocked after 70 years..well he was a kid then ( 7 years ).

Soviets/russians don't seem to take this litely; http://www.soviet-empire.com/ussr/viewt ... 11&t=40816

All pic of those attrocities have been removed.

No not the war-archive links of Tyyne, Maija-Liisa and...who was the third one ?

Martta she was.

It is strange..these attrocities are considered as all but colateral ?

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Re: Atrocities of Soviet partisans against Finnish civilians

Post by Arto O » 24 May 2011 05:30

In a war/conflict the loosers commit attrocities and winners (or the powerful ones) cause colateral damages.

Arto

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Re: Atrocities of Soviet partisans against Finnish civilians

Post by Topspeed » 24 May 2011 16:56

Arto O,

I think these are genuine attrocities. There was no factory or airfield they were about to overtake. Partisans killed or rather murdered those close to border lived farmers in cold blood, babies and children.

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Re: Atrocities of Soviet partisans against Finnish civilians

Post by Arto O » 24 May 2011 20:36

Hi Topspeed,
I completly agree with you. Many times people misunderstand me. My father (born 1933) left Karelia (Karjala, Kirvu) 2 times in "evakko", so these people could have been my uncle, grandfather.

Arto

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Re: Atrocities of Soviet partisans against Finnish civilians

Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 24 May 2011 22:28

This is a 2009 article written by Verigin, Laidanen,Chumakov and c http://www.kolumbus.fi/edvard.hamalaine ... #_ednref10 dealing with the subject. I'll see if can translate it.

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Re: Atrocities of Soviet partisans against Finnish civilians

Post by Topspeed » 03 Mar 2015 12:06


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Re: Atrocities of Soviet partisans against Finnish civilians

Post by siwiec » 03 Mar 2015 13:05

Topspeed wrote:Here is a good link to it.

http://tappis.0catch.com/partisaanit.htm


A good link to what? To a very propagandistic article?

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Re: Atrocities of Soviet partisans against Finnish civilians

Post by Topspeed » 03 Mar 2015 19:38

siwiec wrote:
Topspeed wrote:Here is a good link to it.

http://tappis.0catch.com/partisaanit.htm


A good link to what? To a very propagandistic article?


I can only say it happened...soviet partisans attacked a villages close to the border and massacred the civilians in cold blood.

As this info became available there were several sources to find the pics..now I only found this link.

Sorry if this wasn't your pudding / piece of cake.

I bet these civilians ( mostly women and children and babies ) need/deserve to be seen by everyone.

People who did this were awarded with medals. Their superiors were never questioned or accused about these attrocities/murders.

No compensation was paid after the war to the survivors ( miracle savings ).

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Re: Atrocities of Soviet partisans against Finnish civilians

Post by Topspeed » 04 Mar 2015 07:57

I managed to find few photos more of these soviet terror attacks to border villages.

These are not for children ( I had to leave other picture out ).

Coffins from Viianki.
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