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The Finns of Soviet Karelia as a Target of Stalin's Terror1

Auvo Kostiainen

During the last years of the Soviet period, More and more information became available about the nationalities policies pursued by the Stalin regime. At that time, more facts were found on the period of terror in Soviet Karelia and other regions where a considerable Finnic minority was located. During the latter half of the 1930s, in particular, these areas were thoroughly cleansed and many kinds of acts of terror were undertaken. Even though the definition of terror has been understood in various ways, we may define it in general terms as forced action against individuals or groups of people. The purpose of terror was to change Soviet society thoroughly in the direction of the ideal society, the 'Soviet State', and the process was carried out by the state, the secret police, and the Communist Party apparatus - depending on the case. During the years of terror, the minorities experienced hard times, with deportations and forced migration as well as the elimination ('liquidation') of many group leaders and politicians.

Even though the Finns were a very small group, they were the target of a most intense terror campaign in Soviet Karelia and their human losses were perhaps among the heaviest in the whole of the country when seen in relation to the population figures of a given area. The explanations are found in the widely disputed large-scale aims of the Stalinist regime, and in our case in the nature of the Finnish nationality group itself as well as in the problem of Finnish-Soviet relations. Finland had gained its independence from the Russian empire in 1917. Tension prevailed for a long period between Finland and the Soviet Union, and was also increased by the Civil War in Finland between the Reds and Whites in 1918, in which the Whites were victorious. It resulted also in the banning of the communist movement in Finland - while there were underground connections from the Soviet side to Finland. The inter-war period was characterised by tensions between Finland and the Soviet Union.

The Demography of Soviet Karelia

The most important of the Finnic minority groups living in the northwest corner of the Soviet Union were the Ingrians and the Karelians. The capital of imperial Russia, St. Petersburg, had originally been established by Peter the Great on the Ingrian homelands. The topic of this chapter is Soviet Karelia and its Finnish minority. Karelia had for centuries been a disputed area between Russia (the Soviet Union) and Sweden (which included Finland until 1809, when Finland became a part of the Russian Empire) and independent Finland. In both Ingria and Karelia the native languages were quite close to the Finnish of Finland. There are also many other similarities, for example a cultural sense. In Finland the Greek Orthodox church has traditionally been much less influential than the Protestant State Church.

The Karelians were mainly scattered throughout the regions between the Gulf of Finland and the White Sea. Of primary importance were the relatively small number of those minorities in the Soviet Union - in 1926 there were counted 135,000 Finns, 19,000 of whom were 'Finns from Finland'. Ingrians around Leningrad, of whom there are seven separate groups, altogether numbered 115,000 and Karelians living in Karelia 81,000, while there were 248,000 Karelians in the whole of the Soviet Union.2 Soviet Karelia has been mostly called in Finland 'East Karelia' in contrast to the 'Western Karelian' areas located to the west and south-west of Lake Ladoga - particularly the Viipuri region on the Karelian isthmus - which have for centuries been closely connected to Finland, or a part of it.

Population developments in Soviet Karelia help to explain the events of the years of Stalinist terror. Initially, the native Karelian areas formed Karelian Workers' Commune (Karjalan Työkansan Kommuuni) in 1920. This was the idea of Edward Gylling, who was one of the unsuccessful revolutionary communist leaders in Finland in 1918. He fled to Soviet Russia and negotiated with Lenin about the status of Soviet Karelia. In 1923, the Karelian Workers' Commune was turned into the Karelian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. After the Second World War there was a Karelo-Finnish Soviet Socialist Republic for a short period, followed by a return to the lower status of the Karelian Autonomous Socialist Soviet Republic, because there appeared to be no basis for real Karelian-Finnish joint activity.

The number of Finns living in Soviet Karelia rose from about a thousand in 1920 (0.6 per cent of the population of the Karelian Workers' Commune) to 12,088 in 1933 (3.2 per cent of the Karelian ASSR) and decreased in 1939 to 8,322, or 1.8 per cent. What makes the numbers interesting is the rapid growth of the Finnish population from 1920 to 1933, rising to 11,000 (an increase of 1,200 per cent), followed by a rapid decrease of a third between 1933 and 1939, when 3,800 persons were recorded.3 The total number of people of Finnish nationality in the Soviet Union was 134,701, according to the census of 1926, 85.5 per cent of whom lived in the Russian Federative Socialist Republic. It should be noted that the largest concentration of Finns was not in Karelia, but in the Leningrad area. Only one-tenth of the Finns in the whole country lived in Karelia.4

Taken as a whole, the, population changed dramatically in Soviet Karelia during our research period: in 1920 there were 200,000 persons living in the area, and in 1939 a total of 469,000. The growth may be explained partly by the changing administrative area - in 1923 large areas, mostly Russian-speaking, had been included (see Figure 1). However, the population growth was mainly the result of internal migration: the Five Year Plans included large investments in the pulp 

Map 1. The area of the Karelian ASSR according to the boundaries of 1923.

industry, power plants, housing construction and so on. What was needed was a labour force, and this led to the changing ethnic composition of Karelia. In the first place, Russian domination increased: in 1920 there were 111,900 Russians (55.7 per cent). They came to dominate more and more, and by 1939 their number had more than doubled to 296,500 (63.2 per cent). Secondly, the native population declined in relative terns: the largest native group, the Karelians, stood at 85,800 (42.7 per cent) in 1920, while in 1939 its share was 108,600 persons (23.2 per cent).5

When we compare the Finnish population with the two largest groups, the difference in size is remarkable. However, the Finns played a special role in the Soviet Karelian areas, especially as regards their professional skills and leadership, and also as a target of the Stalinist purges. It has been demonstrated earlier that there were 6,000-10,000 Red Finns who escaped from the Civil War of 1918 in Finland to Soviet Russia, arriving mainly in the Petrograd area and Soviet Karelia. In 1918-20 about 500 former Social Democratic Party officials and activists of the Communist Party of Finland arrived in the Karelian areas.6 Their number later even rose slightly, since some Reds came by other routes to Soviet Karelia.

The Finnish population increased from various sources during the inter-war years. In fact, there were four groups of Finns. The first comprised the above-mentioned Red refugees from the Finnish Civil War. Secondly, there were people who came from Finland in the 1920s, mostly leftists who did not feel comfortable in the newly independent 'White Finland'. It has been estimated that in 1926 there were already more than 1,200 Finns in Karelia, half of whom lived in the Petrozavodsk area.7 Thirdly, there were illegal migrants from Finland in the early 1930s - and smaller numbers even before that - mainly because of the economic depression and unemployment. These illegals accounted for 12,000-15,000 persons, of whom, according to Irina Takala, 3,000-3,500 arrived in Karelian areas.8 Fourthly, there were 4,500-6,000 Finns from North America (approximately 60 per cent from the United States, and the remaining 40 per cent from Canada).9 Thus, the total number of Finns in Soviet Karelia amounted to about 12,100. Major concentration of the Finns were around the capital Petrozavodsk and additional centres of the pulp and metal industries. Many Finns also worked in the lumber camps and in a few collective farms and other co-operative efforts.

It should be emphasised, however, that the numbers given are mostly based on official or semi-official statistics. In particular, the illegals were in many cases not recorded. They had arrived illegally, their fates were often insecure, they were transported, removed, jailed and deported, and their life cycles are in many cases unknown. Our information of those people will probably be more precise after additional archival research.

During the Stalin era, both Soviet government spokesmen and the Communist Party leadership held the view that separate nationalities no longer existed within the USSR. It was emphasised that the various national groups lived in harmony and co-operation with one another. One of the slogans of Stalin's rule was therefore the 'Great Friendship' of the peoples. Thus, the foreign minister of the Soviet Union, Maxim Litvinov, stated the following principles regarding his country's nationalities policies after its acceptance as a member of the League of Nations in 1934: in no other country had so many peoples ever lived as peacefully with each other as in the Soviet Union. In no other state had the peoples been able to develop their own cultures so well, and nowhere had the peoples been able to preserve their languages as they had in the Soviet Union. In his country there lived no minorities or majorities. Soviet rule had given new impulses to the development of all the nationalities living in the country.10

Real life was different, however. As Hélčne Carrčre d'Encausse, the distinguished French historian of the Soviet Union, has observed, during the years following the October Revolution, the stated policies were actually supported, and efforts were made to implement those ideas; but under the Stalin regime, 'Soviet nationalism' was strengthened. In reality, the Soviet state and society were dominated by the largest national group, the Russians, who comprised about 50 per cent of the population, whereas the national aspirations of the various minorities were disregarded. This policy was particularly visible in the middle and the latter half of the 1930s, when a large proportion of the 'nationalist' leaders and even rank-and-file members of the Union Republics and Autonomous Republics were eliminated. Particularly intense terror was felt in many 'border areas' such as Central Asia, the Caucasus, Ukraine - and Soviet Karelia.11 This is not to forget the terror in the 'heartland' of Russia, directed at the autonomous regions and smaller minority groups, and also at large numbers of the Russian people. However, terror against the Russian elements in the population did not really include linguistic or ethnic factors, both of which appear to be important elements in the case of terror against the non-Russian elements in society. Ethnic Russians were mostly accused of economic, political or cultural misdeeds.

Originally, a great deal of energy was expended in the country on building up new literary languages for many minority groups, but by the late 1930s the status of the Russian language had become more dominant. More and more Soviet - that is to say, Russian - forms were introduced into the historical, cultural and linguistic life of the minorities. For example, in Soviet Karelia, the use of the Finnish language as the second official language was prohibited in 1938, and unsuccessful efforts were made to develop a Karelian literary language with a very strong Russian influence. Russian became compulsory in the schools. After the Second World War, and during the 1950s, the status of the Russian language became even stronger.12 In those circumstances 'Great Russian chauvinism' was attacked. Later this turned into a battle against Finnish nationalism, which was suspected of being present at almost all levels of economic, cultural and political life. A special reason and cause for suspicion was the dominant position in the Soviet Karelian government and party circles of Finnish individuals such as Edward Gylling and Kustaa Rovio.

The Means of Terror

Quite a number of studies have been published since the beginning of perestroika and glasnost' under Gorbachev. Indeed, the treatment of the Soviet peoples and individuals during the reign of Iosif Stalin has became the subject of very intense study. This is also true of the history of Soviet Karelia. For decades it was known outside Soviet scholarly circles that the Finnish national group had been badly hit by the secret police; it was known that they were accused of Finnish nationalism. The same happened in many areas of the Soviet Union, where many national groups were accused of nationalist - that is, anti-Soviet - tendencies.

Information about the treatment of the Finns in Karelia had been mainly gathered in the earlier years from sources available in Finland or from international sources of information (correspondents, news and so on), plus the memoirs of those persons who escaped from the Soviet Union to Western countries. New sources became available from the late 1980s regarding the Stalinist terror. It was the Finnish-language literary periodical Punalippu (Red Banner), published in Petrozavodsk, that in its August 1987 issue began discussion about the Stalinist legacies. Information was presented regarding the Ingrian people's fate, followed by a wide variety of writings, reports and studies on the Karelian, Finnish and Vepsian national groups during the period of terror. On the other hand it published lists of persons of American-Finnish extraction. However, that information appears to be far from complete. In the study by Mayme Sevander there is a list of 365 American-Finnish persons, 38 of whom perished in prison or were executed after arrest.13 These findings and investigations have continued to appear until recently.

What happened in Soviet Karelia during the purges and terror? How many victims were there? What were the reasons? The answer to these and other questions have been considered from several viewpoints. A large number of memoirs and even studies about that crucial period in Soviet Karelia were published earlier. For example, Reino Kero (1983) discussed the experiences of North American Finns in Karelia in detail, and Auvo Kostiainen (1988) dealt with the experiences of illegal migrants from Finland. The purpose of the following paragraphs is not so much to recount the specific acts of terror in Soviet Karelia as to give a larger-scale analysis of the context of the terror.

It has been established that the repressions in Soviet Karelia were perhaps even harsher than was imagined earlier. The studies made in the 1980s and early 1990s revealed that almost all the Finnish families in Soviet Karelia were touched by the repressions. In particular, it seems that male Finns were taken into custody, shot on the spot after a 'trial', sent to hard labour or deported to distant places such as Northern Russia, Siberia or Central Asia. Practically all the important figures of Finnish origin were liquidated.

Dr Irina Takala of Petrozavodsk University and other researchers have been able to find the lists of arrests held by the OGPU in Karelian archives. Their findings confirm the earlier assumptions. The exact number of liquidated people of Finnish origin is still an open question. In 1933, according to the official statistics, 12,100 Finns lived in Soviet Karelia (3.2. per cent of the population), while in 1939 their number was 8,300 (1.8 per cent of the population), a decrease of 3,800 persons. It is possible that a great many of these people were shot for spying and treason, or died in the hard labour and concentration camps in various parts of the Soviet Union. However, it has to be remembered that those of Karelian national origin, as well as Russian and other ethnic groups, were severely hit by the liquidations.

It is quite obvious that the terror in Soviet Karelia was not at full strength in the early 1930s. As elsewhere in the Soviet Union, it began gradually with discussions about the problems of collectivisation of agriculture, the role of the Church, and the Party opposition. It is also known that the Communist Party purges were to a certain extent a 'normal' procedure, which was repeated at intervals. But in the 1930s 'normalcy' was exceeded. In Karelia all the nationality groups were possible targets of terror, but it seems that the Finnish element had a special role in this development.

During the years of terror, problems were found in two major fields of activities. The first one concerned the Finnish political leadership in Soviet Karelia and even everyday life, especially its economic aspects. This involved even the composition of the Party and changes in it. The second aspect concerned relations between the neighbouring states of Finland and the Soviet Union.

The first aspect, the leadership of the Finns in Soviet Karelia, proved problematic. As mentioned above, the Finnish population which ended up into Karelia in the 1920s and 1930s included a very active group of politicians, Party workers, cultural activists and so on. Because of the policies carried out by Edward Gylling, Santeri Nuorteva, Kustaa Rovio and other Finnish leaders, the status of the Finnish language, for example, was strengthened. Almost all the books published in Karelia in 1929-33 were in Finnish, although Russian-language books circulated in Karelia, printed outside the area. Finnish-language schools, periodicals and newspapers appeared on the scene. The manysided activities of the Finns in the cultural field was called Karjalaistuttaminen or Karelisation, which accepted the use of the Finnish language and Finnish culture.14 On the other hand, Finnish immigrants had a role in the leadership of many economic enterprises, particularly the North American Finns, who introduced new technologies into the Karelian pulp industry, engineering and forestry.15

Party membership was also a sign of prominence and influence in society. It is interesting to note that in 1934 Finns accounted for 17 per cent of all the Communist Party membership in Karelia,16 but only some 3 per cent of the total population. The discrepancy between the numbers of the Finnish population and their possibility of influence in public life was therefore very obvious.

On the other hand, the leading role of a small number of Finnish persons must have aroused suspicions because of the closeness of Finland, a bourgeois state. In recent years, a number of interesting documents have been found which apparently point to the contacts of the Finnish-based Party leaders and even ordinary Party members with Finland. When tension was building up in Soviet Karelia, and more and more enemies were found, one of the prime charges was that of 'bourgeois-nationalistic conspiracy' or spying against the Soviet state. One of the revealing documents in this respect was the report by Karl Tennison, the chief of the Karelian activities of the NKVD, to it head, Ezhov himself, in Moscow. His report was published in 1990. It told of the arrest of 5,340 persons in 387 'rebellious organisations and groups' up to January 1938. Furthermore, it reported that the rebellious organisations had been formed by the Finnish counter-espionage agency and by activists who wished to unite Finland and Karelia in a single state. The report stated that Karelian refugees in Finland, in particular, and also those returning later to Karelia, had an influential role. It was claimed that co-operation existed between the counter-espionage organisations of Finland and the Finnish bourgeois nationalists in Karelia. These persons even had international contacts with German and Polish anti-Soviet elements. Also, Finnish bourgeois nationalists had managed to gain top positions in government. In addition, Finnish nationalists were present in many industrial plants, and supported spying activities and sabotage; Tennison reported that most of the illegal migrants from Finland served Finland's espionage activities. Of the 874 imprisoned Finns, 324 confessed that they had been recruited for sabotage and spying; also, 481 persons confessed that they had participated in Finnish nationalist activities and carried out sabotage in the work-place.17

Consequently, a large number of Finns were arrested in Soviet Karelia. Even though they totalled at most 3.2 per cent of the population, their share of the arrests was very notable. Their share of the Communist Party membership declined from a high of 1,326 in 1934 (17 per cent of the members) to 1,000 (15 per cent) in 1936, and finally to 314 (5 per cent) in 1939.18

The total of arrested persons in 1930-55, according to OGPU statistics, was about 20,000, of whom 10,939 were arrested in 1937-38, the peak years of the terror. Among them, 5,147 (47.1 per cent) were Russians, 2,746 (25.1 per cent) were Karelians, and 1,948 (17.8 per cent) were Finns. According to Irina Takala's studies, however, the share of the Finns in 1937-38 is possibly even close to 30 per cent; and the total number of Finns in Karelia victimised by the terror would be some 3,000-3,500 individuals; of those, she claims, 70 per cent were executed.19

If we relate the figure of 1,948 presented above to the total numbers, we find that the possibility of being the victim of the terror was higher for the Finns than for any other national group in Karelia. Related to the size of the Russian population in 1937-38 1.1 per cent of that specific national group were arrested. For the Karelian group, the ratio was 2.5 per cent, but for the Finns it was as high as 17.0 per cent. Thus, the chances of a Finn falling victim to the terror was at least seventeen times as high as for a Russian. However, research is continuing. It is very probable that the total number of Finns killed in Soviet Karelia will even rise to 8,000-11,000, according to the conclusions of Irina Takala and other Karelian researchers. The total number of Finns killed in the Soviet Union during Stalin's rule may climb as high as 25,000-30,000, which is more than the total of Finns killed in the Winter War of 1939-40 between Finland and the Soviet Union.20

Recently, new information and studies have been published on the role of the Finnish Communist leaders during the Stalin period. Thus, Rautkallio emphasises the role of OGPU officials, and certain Finnish personalities. In particular, it would seem that O. W. Kuusinen and Arvo Poika Tuominen actively promoted the liquidation of 'antiStalinist' elements among the Finns. Practically all 500 members of the Communist Party of Finland in the USSR were liquidated in one way or the other - except Kuusinen and Tuominen?21

I referred above to the interest in Finland regarding the position of the Finnish-related peoples in the north-west regions of the Soviet Union. Many organisations and individuals worked in Finland to increase co-operation between Finland and these groups. There was also a gradual flow of refugees from the Soviet Union across the Finnish state border during the inter-war years. In the early 1930s, there was a lot of discussion about the Ingrian collectivisation and deportations, and also help from the League of Nations was considered, but with meagre results. A diplomatic crisis even developed between Finland and the Soviet Unitin in 1931 because of the deportations of the Ingrian Finns.22 There was another wave of deportations of Ingrians in the second half of the 1930s, which was also much debated in Finland.

Although there were similarities with those incidents in Ingria, the terror of the 1930s in Soviet Karelia was not entirely of the same kind. More typical, perhaps, were secret police activities, night-time arrests, trials, imprisonments and death and labour camp sentences. Large-scale deportations, such as happened in Ingria, were not so frequent. There were, however, a few incidents which involved larger groups of people. One of the most tragic was the arrest of of the whole Finnish personnel of the Petrozavodsk ski factory in the middle of the working day. In addition, the cleansing of the border zones, starting primarily in 1935, bore some similarity to the mass ethnic deportations. This bore the characteristics of a mass purge, as Michael Gelb has suggested: according to him, the orders had a close relationship with de-kulakisation and the attack on the ethnic intelligentsia. The ethnic nature of the border zone deportation is perhaps not so obvious, even if Gelb has found several interesting documents.23 First of all, the regulations were based on government orders and had more to do with the intensifying political tension between the Soviet Union and its Western neighbours, and probably above all with Germany. For the Finns of Soviet Karelia, those regulations naturally had an important effect, but they had most impact on the Karelian ethnic group. The great majority of the Finns lived in the Petrozavodsk region and other locations, which were not so close to the border zones. It would seem, therefore, that the explanation in terms of clearing the border zone is valid for only a part of the Finnish population in Soviet Karelia, and for a part of the Ingrian population in the neighbourhood of Leningrad.

Finally, there is a specific factor which should be noted when discussing Finland, Ingria and Soviet Karelia. As mentioned above, in Finland, during the inter-war years, there were active organisations as well as individuals working to promote contacts with those groups in the Soviet Union. Certain societies in Finland, notably the Academic Karelian Society (AKS), engaged in open propaganda for the incorporation of Soviet Karelia into Finland. Soviet Karelia (East Karelia) had been very actively discussed in the early 1920s. In particular, attention was aroused by the mass deportations of Ingrian Finns. Those probably involved more than 45,000 persons during a period of several years starting from the forced collectivisation of 1929. In the 1930s, discussion in Finland of Karelian incidents was more isolated, even though the press and government in Finland keenly reported those incidents about which there was information. Toivo Nygård has even said that, while attention was mainly focused on the Ingrian incidents of a mass character, the Karelian events were linked to them in an effort to make the Finns' problems in the Soviet Union a major topic of discussion abroad.24

The Finns - A Dangerous Minority Group

To conclude, when counted as a proportion of the total national group, it is a fact that the Finnish population in Soviet Karelia was a very important object of terror. A Finn in Soviet Karelia had statistically a seventeen times greater chance of being a victim of the terror than a Russian in Karelia. What then is the explanation for this ethnic purge?

Firstly, the 12,100. Finns made up only a small percentage of the total population in Soviet Karelia. However, as noted above, the statistics most probably do not include all the Finns in Soviet Karelia, especially since there were thousands of illegal migrants from Finland. Because of the sense of initiative and special skills of a number of the Finns, they obtained a special position in the Soviet Karelian government and in cultural, economic or Party circles at a time when 'a giant step towards an industrial society' was being made. This is why their removal was of great significance and had negative economic consequences. The Finns were replaced by other ethnic and national groups, especially individuals from the largest group, the Russians, from which the new layers of the elite were to a great extent recruited.

Secondly; we often find information that Finland was used as an excuse for terror activities. The fact is that the public and government circles in Finland displayed a wide interest in Soviet Karelia. Because of Soviet Karelia's immediate proximity to Finland, Soviet OGPU officials found many reasons and explanations to prove that the Finns who had been liquidated, jailed or shot, had co-operated with the secret police of Finland. This kind of argument was probably one of the most common in the 'border areas' of the Soviet Union as a justification for the arrests and other acts of Stalinist rule. This kind of explanation was very common when labour camp and especially death sentences were passed. In this instance, however, it must be asserted that the historian, depending on the available sources, may present a completely different explanation of the sentences. In a report discussed specifically in this chapter, half of the Finns examined confessed that they had been spying or working for the cause of Finland. Naturally, such 'confessions' were uttered in extreme conditions. On the other hand, those hundreds of people who succeeded in returning to Finland and were questioned by the Finnish secret police knew of only a couple of spies among the Finns going to the Soviet Union. The truth lies between these extremes.

In sum, the Finns of the Soviet Union were seen as a small but dangerous group. The total number of victims of the Stalin era is not precisely known, but it was definitely more than just a few thousand. When counted as a whole from all over the USSR, probably 15,000 Finns were killed, and some estimates reach even 25,000-30,000. We may at this stage estimate that perhaps half of the Finnish victims originated in Karelian areas.

Much research is being undertaken and much more is still needed. Our understanding of the position of the Finns in the country, as well as of their persecution, will certainly be more exact after more archival and other studies. For the moment we have to note that the Finns of Soviet Karelia made up only one-tenth of the Finnish population in the Soviet Union. More information is needed about the Finns in other parts of the country,25 since very little has been written about them during the terror years, with the exception of a very small number of individuals. Certainly more studies are still needed on the treatment of various relatively small ethnic minorities of various Soviet Republics.26


1 This chapter is based on my presentation at the ICCEES World Congress in Warsaw, and the subsequent changes prepared for the Scandinavian Journal of History, which is publishing a separate version of the paper.

2 Aleksei Krjukov, 'Inkerinmaa ja inkeriläiset', Punalippu (Petrozavodsk), 1987, No. 8, pp. 126-7; Irina Takala, 'Kansallisuuskysymys tilastojen valossa , Punalippu, 1989, No. 11: for statistics, see pp. 139-41; and Narodnoe khoziaistvo SSSR 1922-1982. Iublileinyi statisticheskii ezhegodnik (Moscow, 1982): for statistics on the ethnic background, see pp. 33-40.

3 See Auvo Kostiainen, 'Dominating Finnish Minority: On the Background of the Nationality Problem in Soviet Karelia in the 1930's', Faravid, Vol. VIII (1984), pp. 341-66, especially table on p. 346; Irina Takala, 'Venäjän-Karjalan suomalaisten kohtaloita', Historiallinen Aikakauskirja, 1991, No. 1, pp. 42-8. In 1959 there were 27,800 Finns in Soviet Karelia following the population changes and voluntary migration of Finns from other parts of the Soviet Union: see I. P. Pokrovskaia, 'Naselenie Karelii v 1920-1969 gg.', 50 let sovetskoi Karelii (Petrozavodsk, 1970), p. 291. For the citations of the Soviet plans to resettle the Karelian isthmus, which was ceded by Finland after the Second World War, and also the unwillingness to move there, see Toivo Flink, Pois Inkeristä, ohi Inkerin (Helsinki, 1995), especially pp. 179-85.

4 See information presented in Kostiainen, 'Dominating Finnish Minority', p. 350.

5 Pokrovskaia, 'Naselenie Karelii', p. 291, which is based on Soviet statistics.

6 Takala, 'Venäjän-Karjalan suomalaisten kohtaloita', p. 42. Jussi Lappalainen, an expert on the Civil War in Finland, gives a more moderate estimate of 5,000-7,000, see Kostiainen 'Dominating Finnish Minority', p. 349, n. 15.

7 Vsesoiuznaia perepis' naseleniia 1926, Tom I, pp. 178-81, cited in Takala. 'Venäjän-Karjalan suomalaisten kohtaloita', p. 43; also Auvo Kostiainen, Loikkarit. Suuren lamakauden laiton siirtolaisuus Neuvostoliittoon (Keuruu, 1988), p. 118.

8 Takala, 'Venäjän-Karjalan suomalaisten kohtaloita', p. 43; compare the migration in general discussed in Kostiainen, Loikkarit.

9 Reino Kero, 'Neuvosto-Karjalaa rakentamassa. Pohjois-Amerikan suomalaiset tekniikan tuojina 1930-luvun Neuvosto-Karjalassa', Historiallisia Tutkimuksia, 122 (Helsinki, 1983), especially pp. 57-60. He presents an estimate of close to 6,000; Soviet Karelian state archival sources offer two conflicting numbers between 4,500 and 5,500 (cited in Takala, 'Venäjän-Karjalan suomalaisten kohtaloita', pp. 44-5).

10 Citation of the speech delivered by Litvinov on 18 September 1934, in the Council of the League of Nations, in Bericht über die bisherige Entwicklung ..., 15.7.1936, Anlage 2, p. 7, by the Ingrian Committee: Finnish National Archives (Helsinki), Ingrian League Archives, folder XXX.

11 Hélčne Carrere d'Encausse, Stalin: Order through Terror: A History of the Soviet Union 1917-1953, Vol. 2 (New York, 1984), especially pp. 64-7, 151-4.

12 Michael Kirkwood, 'Glasnost, "The National Question" and Soviet Language Policy'. Soviet Studies, Vol. 43, No. 1 (1991), especially pp. 61-4.

13 Mayme Sevander, Red Exodus: Finnish-American Emigration to Russia (Duluth, MN, 1993), pp. 194-204. In her list there are five known persons who perished in the labour camps; ten died during the Second World War. For another Finnish-American family history, see Lawrence and Sylvia Hokkanen, with Anita Middleton, Karelia: A Finnish-American Couple in Stalin's Russia, 1934-1941 (St. Cloud, MN, 1991). The the title of Punalippu was changed to Carelia in 1990, while the nature of the periodical remained the same.

14 For more on this aspect, see Kostiainen, 'Dominating Finnish Minority', especially pp. 350-55.

15 See Kero, Neuvosto-Karjalaa rakentamassa', especially pp. 109-21.

16 Karel'skaia organizatsiia KPSS v tsifrakh 1921-1984 (Petrozavodsk, 1985), p. 72, cited in Takala, 'Venäjän-Karjalan suomalaisten kohtaloita', p. 46.

17 Report published in Leninskaia Pravda (Petrozavodsk), 28 August 1990. According to Irina Takala, the published document was a shortened version of the original (letter dated 10 October 1995 to the author). The document is also cited in Takala, 'Venäjän-Karjalan suomalaisten kohtaloita', pp. 46-7.

18 Cited in ibid., p. 46.

19 Ibid.

20 Hannu Rautkallio, Suuri viha. Stalinin suomalaiset uhrit 1930-luvulla (Porvoo, 1995). In his study of the exiled Comunist Party of Finland, 1937-45, Kimmo Rentola estimates that close to 20,000 Finns perished in the USSR: see Kimmo Reotola, Kenen joukoissa seisot? Suomalainen kommunismi ja sota 1937-1945 (Porvoo, Helsinki and Juva, 1994), p. 72.

21 Rautkallio, Suuri viha, p. 196, for the process of party liquidations and the Finns, see pp. 150-205.

22 For more about the discussion and efforts by the representatives of Finland in the League of Nations see Auvo Kostiainen, 'International Opinion and the Soviet Minorities of the 1930's', in Congress Fenno Ugrica (Oulu, 1995).

23 Michael Gelb, 'The Western Finnic Minorities and the Origins of the Stalinist Nationalities Deportations', Nationalities Papers, Vol. 24, No. 2 (1996), especially pp. 247-50.

24 Toivo Nygård, Suur-Suomi vai lähiheimolaisten auttaminen. Aatteellinen heimotyö itsenäisessä Suomessa (Keuruu, 1978), especially pp. 319-25. On the fate of the Ingrians, see Ian Matley, 'Dispersal of the Ingrian Finns', Slavic Review, Vol. 38, No. 1 (1979). For selected documents from Russian archives, see Plink, Pois Inkeristä, ohi Inkerin.

25 For information about the history of the East Finnic minorities in the Soviet Union, see Seppo Lallukka, 'The East Finnic Minorities in the Soviet Union: An Appraisal of Erosive Trends', Annales Academiae Scientiarum Fenuicae, Ser. B, tom 252 (Helsinki, 1990); this work is demographic by nature.

26 See, for example, Alter L. Litvin, 'Rossiiskaia istoriografiia bol'shogo terrora', paper presented to the ICCEES Fifth World Congress, Warsaw, 11 August 1995. A new study on the Finnic Komi-Permiaks has been published by Seppo Lallukka under the title Komipermjakit - Perämaan kansa. Syrjäytyminen, sulautuminen ja post-kommunistinen murros (Helsinki, 1995).

Published in Ethnic and National Issues in Russian and East European History. Selected Papers from the Fifth World Congress of Central and East European Studies, Warsaw, 1995. Ed. by John Morrison, 2000, p. 214-229.

© Auvo Kostiainen

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