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Genocide in Soviet Karelia: Stalin's Terror and the Finns of Soviet Karelia

Auvo Kostiainen

Soviet Karelia was the target of Stalinist terror for a number of reasons. It was geographically located on the northwestern edge of the Soviet State, on the international border with Finland, which had gained its independence from the Russian Empire in 1917. Frequently, there was tension between Finland and the Soviet Union because of the border disputes, and because a large number of Finnish-speaking or Finnish-related peoples, such as the Ingrians and Karelians, lived in the Soviet Union. During the terror years, the minorities experienced hard times with deportations and forced migration as well as the 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 in Soviet Karelia and their losses in terms of human life were perhaps among the heaviest in the whole of the country when seen in relation to the population figures of a given area. The reason for this is 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.

1. On the roots of the nationality problem in Karelia

In the neighbourhood of Leningrad and in the northwestern border areas of the Soviet Union there lived several Finnish-related nationality groups. The most important of these 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 article is Soviet Karelia and its Finnish minority. For centuries Karelia had been a disputed area between Russia (the Soviet Union) and Sweden (including Finland until 1809 when Finland became a part of the Russian Empire) and the independent Finland. In both Ingria and Karelia the native languages were quite close to the Finnish of Finland. There are also many other similarities in, 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 scattered mainly throughout the areas between the Gulf of Finland and the White Sea. Of primary importance was the relatively small number of those minorities in the Soviet Union - in 1926 there were 135,000 Finns, 19,000 of whom were "Finns from Finland". Ingrians amounted to a total of 115,000 and Karelians living in Karelia 81,000, while there were 248,000 Karelians throughout the Soviet Union.1 In Finland, Soviet Karelia has generally been known as "East Karelia", as opposed to the "Western Karelian" areas located west and southwest of Lake Ladoga (particularly the Viipuri region on the Karelian Isthmus) which for centuries have been closely connected with Finland, or a part of it.

The population developments of Soviet Karelia help to explain the events of the Stalinist terror years. First of all, the native Karelian areas originally formed the Karelian Workers' Commune (Karjalan Työkansan Kommuuni ) in 1920. This was the idea of Edward Gylling, who was one of the unsuccessful revolutionary Red leaders in Finland in 1918. He fled to Soviet Russia and negotiated with Lenin about the state formation in Soviet Karelia. In 1923 the Karelian Workers' Commune became the Karelian Autonomous Socialist Soviet Republic. After World War II there was a short period of the Karelo-Finnish Socialist Soviet Republic, and then again a return to the lower status of Karelian Autonomous Socialist Soviet Republic, because there appeared to be no basis for an actual Karelian-Finnish joint effort.

What of the Finns in Soviet Karelia? How many were they, and where did they come from? The number of Finns living in Soviet Karelia rose from about 1000 persons in 1920 (0.6 % of the population, Karelian Workers' Commune) to 12,088 persons in 1933 (3.2 %, Karelian ASSR) and decreased in 1939 to 8,322, or 1.8 %. What makes the numbers interesting is the rapid increase in the Finnish population from 1920 to 1933, by 11,000 persons, and again the rapid decrease from 1933 until 1939, by 3,800 persons or 33 %.2 The total number included in the Finnish nationality group in the Soviet Union according to the census of 1926 was 134,701, 85.5 % 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.3

Karelian ASSR
Map 1. The area of the Karelian ASSR according to the borders of 1923, by counties.

As a whole, the population in Soviet Karelia changed dramatically in the period under research: 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 because of the changing administrative area - in 1923 large, mostly Russian-speaking areas had been included. However, the population growth was mainly a result of internal migration: the five-year plans included large investments in the pulp industry, power plants, housing construction, etc. What was needed was the labour force. This resulted in the changing ethnic composition of Karelia. In the first place, the Russian domination increased: in 1920 there were 111,900 (55.7 %) Russians. They became increasingly dominant, since in 1939 the Russians had more than doubled in number to 296,500 (63.2 %). Secondly, the native population lost out in relative terms: the largest native group, the Karelians, totalled 85,800 (42.7 %) in 1920, while in 1939 the proportion was 108,600 persons (23.2 %).4

When we compare the Finnish population with the two largest groups, the difference in size is remarkable. However, the Finns had a special role in the Soviet Karelian areas, especially considering their professional skills and leadership, and also as the target of the Stalinist purges. It has been demonstrated earlier, that there were 6,000 to 10,000 Red Finns who escaped from the Civil War of 1918 in Finland to the Soviet Russia. They arrived mainly in the Leningrad area and Soviet Karelia. In 1918-1920 about 500 former social democratic party officials and activists of the Communist Party of Finland arrived into the Karelian areas.5 Their number rose slightly some time later, since some Reds came to Soviet Karelia via other routes.

The Finnish population increased through various sources during the interwar years. In fact, there were four groups of Finns. The first comprised the abovementioned Red refugees of the Finnish Civil War. Secondly, there were migrants 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.6 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 made up a total of 12,000 to 15,000 persons, of whom, according to Irina Takala, 3,000-3,500 arrived in the Karelian areas.7

Fourthly, there were 4,500 to 6,000 Finns from North America (the United States c. 60 %, Canada c. 40 %).8 Thus, the total number of Finns in Soviet Karelia amounted to about 12,100 persons. The Finns were mainly concentrated around the capital Petrozavodsk as well as other centres of the pulp and metal industries. Many Finns also worked in the lumber camps and in a few collective farms and other cooperative endeavours.

It should be emphasized, however, that the numbers given are mostly based on official or semi-official statistics. The illegals in particular were often rendered invisible. They had arrived illegally, their fate was often uncertain, they were transported, removed, jailed, deported, and their life cycle in many cases was unknown. Our information on these peoples will probably be more exact after additional archival research.

During the Stalinist era, both Soviet government spokesmen and the Communist Party leadership maintained the opinion that separate nationalities no longer existed within the USSR. It was emphasized that the various national groups lived in harmony and cooperation with each other. 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 having been accepted as a member of the League of Nations in 1934:

In no other country have so many peoples lived as peacefully with one another as in the Soviet Union. In no other state have the peoples been able to develop their own cultures so successfully, and nowhere have the peoples been able to preserve their languages as in the Soviet Union.

Litvinov claimed that in his country there were no minorities or majorities. The Soviet rule had given new impulses for the development of all the nationalities living in the country.9

In reality the situation was very different, however. As Helene Carrere d'Encausse, a French historian of the Soviet Union, states, during the years following the October Revolution, the policies stated here were actually supported, and efforts were made to implement these ideas. But under the Stalinist 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 % of the population, whereas the nationalist aspirations of the various minorities were disregarded. This policy was particularly visible around 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 Soviet Socialist and autonomous republics were liquidated. Intense terror was felt particularly in many "border areas" such as Central Asia, the Caucasus, the Ukraine and also Soviet Karelia.10 This is not to forget the terror in the "heartland" of Russia, towards autonomous regions, smaller minority groups, and also towards large numbers of the Russian people. Terror against Russian elements of the population did not really include linguistic or ethnic factors, which appears to be an important fact regarding the case of terror towards the non-Russian elements in the society. Ethnic Russians were mostly accused of misdeeds in economics, politics, culture, and so on.

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 an unsuccessful effort was made to develop a Karelian literary language with a very strong Russian influence. Russian became compulsory in the schools. After World War II, and during the 1950s, the status of the Russian language became even greater.11

In these circumstances the "Great Russian chauvinism" was attacked. Later it developed into the battle against Finnish nationalism, which was suspected to be found 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.

2. The solution of the Karelian problems through terror

Quite a number of studies have been published since the beginning of perestroika and glasnost under Gorbachev's rule. The treatment of the Soviet peoples and individuals during the reign of Joseph Stalin has became the topic of very intense study. This is also true of the history of Soviet Karelia. For decades it was known outside the Soviet scholarly circles that the Finnish national group was badly hit by the Secret Police. It was known that they were accused of Finnish nationalism. This is what happened in many areas of the Soviet Union, where many national group were accused of nationalist - i.e. anti-Soviet tendencies.

In the earlier years information about the treatment of the Finns in Karelia had been gathered mainly from the sources available in Finland or from international information sources (correspondents, news media, etc.), as well as from the memoirs of those persons who escaped from the Soviet Union to the West. New sources became available from the late 1980s regarding the Stalininst terror. It was the Finnish language literary periodical Punalippu (Red Banner), published in Petrozavodsk, which in its August 1987 issue began a discussion about the Stalinist legacies. On the one hand, information was presented regarding the destiny of the Ingrian people, and later a wide variety of writings, reports and studies on the Karelian, Finnish and Vepsian national groups during the terror period. On the other hand, lists of persons of American-Finnish extraction have been presented. However, this information appears to be far from complete. In the Sevander study there is a list of 365 American-Finnish persons, 38 of whom perished in prison or were executed after arrest.12 These findings and excavations have continued until recently.

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

It has been revealed that the liquidations in Soviet Karelia were perhaps even harsher than was earlier imagined. The studies carried out in the 1980s and early 1990s revealed that almost all the Finnish families in Soviet Karelia were touched by the liquidations. In particular, it seems that male Finns were taken into custody, shot on the spot after the "trial", put to hard labour or deported to distant places like Northern Russia; Siberia and Central Asia. Virtually 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 the Karelian archives. Their findings confirm the earlier assumptions. The exact number of liquidated people of Finnish origin is yet an open question. In 1933 there were (according to the statistics!) 12,100 Finns in Soviet Karelia (3.2 % of the population), while in 1939 their number was 8300 (1.8 % of the population), a decrease of 3800 persons. It is possible that a great many of these people were shot for spying and treason, or died in the hard labour and oncentration 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 had not reached its peak in the early 1930s. As elsewhere in the Soviet Union, it began gradually with discussions about the problems of collectivization 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 terror years, problems were found in two major fields of activity. The first dealt with the Finnish political leadership in Soviet Karelia and even everyday life, especially concerning the economy. This aspect involves even the party composition and its changes. The second aspect dealt with the relations between the neighbour states, Finland and the Soviet Union.

The first aspect, the leadership of the Finns in Soviet Karelia, proved problematic. As mentioned earlier, 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 politics carried on 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 1929-1933 were in Finnish, and although Russian-language books were circulated in Karelia, they were printed outside the region. Finnish-language schools, periodicals and newspapers appeared on the scene. The many-sided activities of the Finns in the cultural field were called Karjalaistuttaminen or Karelization, which accepted the use of the Finnish language and Finnish culture.13 On the other hand, Finnish immigrants had a role in the leadership of many economic enterprises, with the North-American Finns in particular introducing new technologies into the Karelian pulp, engineering and forestry industries.14

Having party membership also represented prominence and made it possible for the Finns to have an influence on the society. It is interesting to note that in 1934 the Finns made up 17 % of the entire CP membership in Karelia,15 but only some 3 % of the total population. The discrepancy between the number of Finns in the population and the possibility of their exerting an influence on social issues was therefore very obvious.

On the other hand, the leading role played by a small number of Finnish persons must have aroused suspicions because of the proximity with Finland, a bourgeois state. In recent years quite a few interesting documents have been found which aim at pointing to the contacts between the Finnish-based party leaders and even ordinary party members and Finland. When tension was building in Soviet Karelia and more and more enemies were being found, one of the prime charges levelled against the Finns was the "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 Jezov himself in Moscow. His report was published in 1990. It told about the arrests of 5340 persons in 387 rebellious organizations and groups up until January 1938. Furthermore, it claimed that the rebellious organizations were formed by the Finnish counter-espionage and activists who wished to join Finland and Karelia into one state. The report stated that particularly Karelian refugees in Finland as well as those returning later to Karelia had an influential role. It was claimed that cooperation existed between the counter-espionage organizations of Finland and the Finnish bourgeois nationalists in Karelia. These persons even had international contacts with German and Polish anti-Soviet elements. In addition, the Finnish bourgeois nationalists had managed to gain top positions in government. On the other hand, the Finnish nationalists occupied many industrial plants, supported spying activities and sabotage. Furthermore, Tennison reported that most of the illegal migrants from Finland served Finland's espionage activities. Of the 874 imprisoned Finns, 324 confessed that they were recruited for sabotage and spying. A further 481 persons confessed that they had participated in the Finnish nationalist activities and carried out sabotage in the work places.16

Consequently, a large number of Finns were arrested in Soviet Karelia. Even though the total number of the population was at the most 3.2 %, the proportion of Finnish arrests was very notable. Their proportion of the Communist Party membership decreased from the top figure of 1326 in 1934 (17 % of the members) to 1000 (15 %) in 1936, and finally to 314 (5 %) in 1939.17

The total number of arrests in 1930-1955 was according to the OGPU statistics around 20,000 persons, of whom in 1937-1938, or during the peak years of the terror, 10,939 were arrested. Among them were 5147 (47.1 %) Russians, 2746 (25.1 %) Karelians, and 1948 (17.8 %) Finns. According to Irina Takala's studies,however, the proportion of the Finns in the 1937-1938 is possibly closer to 30 %. And the total number of terrorized Finns in Karelia would be around 3000-3500 persons. Of those, she claims 70 % were executed.18

If we relate the 1948 figure 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 nationality group in Karelia. In relation to the Russian population in 1937-1938, 1.1 % of that specific nationality group was arrested. For the Karelian group the ratio was 2.5 %, but for the Finns it was as high as 17.0 %. Thus, the possibility of the Finns being terrorized was at least seventeen times higher than that for the Russians. But, on the other hand, the research is still going on. It is very probable that the total number of Finns killed in Soviet Karelia could rise to as much as 8000-11,000, according to the results of Takala and other Karelian researchers. The total number of Finns killed in the Soviet Union during the Stalinist rule might even climb to 25,000-30,000, which is more than the number of Finns killed in the Winter War of 1939-1940 between Finland and the Soviet Union.19

Recently, new information and studies have been published on the role of the Finnish Communist leaders during the Stalinist period. Accordingly, Rautkallio emphasizes the role of the OGPU officials, and certain Finnish personalities. In particular, it would seem that O. W. Kuusinen and Arvo Poika Tuominen actively propagandized for the liquidation of "anti-Stalinist" elements among the Finns. Virtually all 500 members of the Communist Party of Finland in the USSR were liquidated in one way or another - with the exception of Kuusinen and Tuominen.20

This information reflects the interest in Finland concerning the position of the Finnish-related peoples in the northwest regions of the Soviet Union. In fact, many organizations and individuals worked in Finland for increasing cooperation between Finland and these groups. There was also a gradual influx of refugees from the Soviet Union across the Finnish state border during the interwar years. In the early 1930s there was a lot of discussion about the Ingrian collectivization 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 Union in 1931 because of the deportations of the Ingrian Finns.21 Indeed, there was another wave of deportations of Ingrians in the second half of the 1930s, which was also widely debated in Finland.

Although there were similarities between these incidents in Ingria, the terror of the 1930s in Soviet Karelia was not entirely of the same nature. More typical were perhaps the Secret Police activities, night-time arrests, trials, imprisonments and death and labour-camp sentences. The large-scale deportations that took place in Ingria were not so frequent in Soviet Karelia. There were, however, a few incidents which involved larger crowds of people. One of the most tragic of these was the arrest of the entire 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, had some similarity with the mass ethnic deportations. It retained a kind of mass nature, as Michael Gelb has suggested. According to Gelb, the orders bore a close relationship with the de-kulakization and attacks on the ethnic intelligentsia. The ethnic nature of border-zone deportation is perhaps not so obvious, even though Gelb has found several interesting documents.22 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 primarily with Germany. Regarding the Finns of Soviet Karelia, these regulations naturally had an important effect, but it touched mostly the Karelian ethnic group. The great majority of Finns lived in the Petrozavodsk region and other locations, which were not so close to the border zones. Therefore it would seem that the border-zone explanation is valid only for a part of the Finnish population. in Soviet Karelia, as well as for a part of the Ingrian population in the neighbourhood of Leningrad.

Finally, there is a difference which should be noted when discussing Finland, Ingria and Soviet Karelia. As mentioned above, in Finland during the interwar years there were active organizations 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) openly spread 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. These disposed of probably more than 45,000 persons during several years starting from the forced collectivization of 1929. In the 1930s, discussion in Finland of the Karelian incidents was more isolated, even though the press and government in Finland keenly reported the incidents about which there was information. Toivo Nygård has even said that while the main attention was on the mass nature of the Ingrian incidents, the Karelian events were the concern of those who sought to make the Finnic problems in the Soviet Union a major topic of discussion abroad.23

3. Conclusions

In terms of numbers out of the total nationality group, it is a fact that the Finnish population in Soviet Karelia was a prime target of the terror campaign. If you were a Finn in Soviet Karelia, you had statistically a seventeen times greater chance of being terrorized than if you were a Russian. What, then, is the explanation for this ethnic purge?

Firstly, the 12,100 Finns made up only a few percent of the total population in Soviet Karelia. However, as already mentioned, the statistics most probably do not reveal the number of all the Finns in Soviet Karelia, especially since there were thousands of illegal migrants from Finland. Because of the initiative and special skills of a number of Finns, they secured a special position in the Soviet Karelian government, 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 persons 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 there was wide interest in Finland among the public and in the government circles towards Soviet Karelia. Because of the location of Soviet Karelia in the immediate neighbourhood of Finland, Soviet OGPU officials found many reasons and explanations to prove that the Finns who had been liquidated, jailed or shot had cooperated with the Secret Police of Finland. Probably this kind of argument has been 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 a very common one when labour camp and especially death sentences were passed. In this matter, however, it must be said that for the most part, and depending on the sources that are available, the historian may present quite opposite grounds for sentences. In a report discussed specifically in this article, half of the Finns examined confessed that they had been spying or working for the cause of Finland. Naturally, such "confessions" were uttered under 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 who migrated to the Soviet Union. The truth lies somewhere between these extremes.

In all, the Finns of the Soviet Union were seen as a small but dangerous group. The total number of victims of the Stalinist era is not exact, but definitely more than only a few thousands. When counted as a whole from all over the USSR, probably 15,000 Finns were exterminated, and some estimates reach as many as 25-30,000. We can at this stage estimate that perhaps half of the Finnish victims originated from the Karelian areas.

A lot of research is going on and much more is still needed. Our conception 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 it should be noted 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,24 since very little has been written about them during the terror years, with the exception of a small number of individuals. Certainly, more studies are still needed on the treatment of various small-size ethnic minorities living throughout the Soviet Republics.25

Auvo Kostiainen, born 1946, PhD, is Senior Lecturer in General History at the University of Turku. His published works include The Forging of Finnish-American Communism (1978); Santeri Nuorteva - kansainvalinen suomalainen (1983); Loikkarit. Suuren lamakauden laiton siirtolaisuus Neuvostoliittoori (1988): He is currently researching the history of modern mass tourism and the history of minorities.

Address: Department of History, University of Turku, 20500 Turku, Finland


1. See A. Krjukov "Inkerinmaa ja inkeriläiset", Punalippu, 8 (Petrozavodsk 1987), pp. 126-127; 1. Takala, "Kansallisuuskysymys tilastojen valossa", Punalippu, l l (1989), for statistics pp. 139-141; and Narodnoe hozyaistno SSSR 1922-1982. Lyublileinii chtatistitseskii exhegodnik. (Moskva, 1982), statistics on the ethnic background, pp. 33-40.

2. See A. Kostiainen, Dominating Finnish Minority. On the Background of the Nationality Problem in Soviet Karelia in the 1930s", Faravid, Vol. VIII (1984), pp. 341-366, esp. table, p. 346; I. Takala, "Venäjän-Karjalan suomalaisten kohtaloita", Historiallinen Aikakauskirja, 1 (1991), pp. 42-48. In 1959 there were 27,800 Finns in Soviet Karelia due to the population changes and voluntary migration of Finns from other parts of the Soviet Union. I. P. Pokrovskaya, "Naselenie Karelii v 1920-1969 gg.", 50 let sovetskoi Karelii (Petrozavodsk, 1969), p. 291. Cf. the citations of the Soviet plans to resettle the Karelian Isthmus, which was ceded by Finland after World War II, as well as the unwillingness to move there, T. Flink, Pois Inkeristä, ohi Inkerin (Helsinki, 1995), esp. pp. 179-185.

3. Cf information gathered in Kostiainen (1984), p. 350.

4. See Pokrovskaya (1970), p. 291, which is based on Soviet statistics.

5. Cf, Takata (1991), p. 42. Jussi Lappalainen, an expert of the Civil War in Finland, gives a more moderate estimate of 5000-7000, see Kostiainen (1984), p. 349, note 15.

6. Cf Vsesoyuznaja Perepis nanseleniya 1926, T. I, pp. 178-181; Takata, op. cit. (1991), p. 43; and A.Kostiainen, Loikkarit. Suuren lamakauden laiton siirtolaisuus Neuaostoliittoon (Keuruu, 1988), p. 118.

7. Takala (1991), p. 43; cf. the migration in general Kostiainen (1988).

8. See R. Kero, "Neuvosto-Karjalaa rakentamassa. Pohjois-Amerikan suomalaiset tekniikan tuojina 1930-luvun Neuvosto-Karjalassa", Historiallisia Tutkimuksia, 122 (Helsinki, 1983), esp. pp. 57-60. He presents an estimate of close to 6000; Soviet Karelian state archival sources count two confronting numbers between 4500 and 5500, Takala, op. cit. (1991), pp. 44-45.

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

10. Cf. H. Carrere d'Encausse, Stalin. Order through Terror - A History of the Soviet Union 1917-1953. vol.Two. Transl. by Valence Ionescu. Fourth impr. (New York 1984), esp. pp. 64-67, 151-154.

11. See M. Kirkwood, "Glasnost, `The National Question' and Soviet Language Policy", Soviet Studies,Vol. 43, No. 1 (1991), esp, pp. 61-64.

12. See M. 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, 10 died during World War II. For another Finnish-American family history, see L. & S. Hokkanen, with A. Middleton, Karelia. A Finnish-American Couple in Stalin's Russia, 1934-1941 (St Cloud, MN 1991). Punalippu was changed into Karelia in 1990, while the nature of the periodical stayed the same.

13. See more about this aspect, Kostiainen (1984), esp. pp. 350-355.

14. Kero (1983), esp. pp. 109-121.

15. Karelskaya organizatsiya KPSS v tsifrakh 1921-1984 (Petrozavodsk, 1985), p. 72, cited from Takala (1991), p. 46.

16. Report published in Leninskaya Pravda (Petrozavodsk), 28 August 1990. According to Irina Takala, the published document was a shortened version of the original (letter from 10 Oct. 1995 to the author). The document is also cited in Takala (1991), pp. 46-47.

17. Op. cit., p. 46.

18. Ibid.

19. See H. Rautkallio, Suuri viha. Stalinin suomalaiset uhrit 1930--luvulla (Porvoo, 1995). In his study of the exiled Communist Party of Finland 1937--1945, Kimmo Rentola approaches the number of 20,000 destructed Finns in the USSR. See K. Rentola, Kenen joukoissa seisot? Suomalainen kommunismi ja sota 1937-1945 (Porvoo-Helsinki-Juva, 1994), p. 72.

20. Cf. Rautkallio (1995), p. 196, for the process of party liquidations and the Finns, see pp. 150-205.

21. See more about the discussion and efforts by the representatives of Finland in the League of Nations, A. Kostiainen, "International Opinion and the Soviet Minorities of the 1930s", in Congress Fenno Ugrica (Oulu, 1995), in print.

22. See M. Gelb, "The Western Finnic Minorities and the Origins of the Stalinist Nationalities Deportations", in Nationalities Papers, Vol. 24, No. 2 (1996), esp. pp. 247-250.

23. See T. Nygård, Suur-Suomi vai lähiheimolaisten auttaminen. Aatteellinen heimotyö itsenäiessä Suomessa (Keuruu, 1978), esp. pp. 319-325. About the Ingrian destinies, see I. Matley, "Dispersal of the Ingrian Finns" in Slavic Review, vol. 38, no 1, (1979). For selected documents from Russian archives, see Flink (1995).

24. For the information about the history of the East Finnic minorities in the Soviet Union, see S. Lallukka, "The East Finnic Minorities in the Soviet Union: an Appraisal of Erosive Trends", in Annales Academiae Scientiarum Fennicae. Ser. B, tom. 252 (Helsinki, 1990). His work is demographic by nature.

25. See, e.g., A. L. Litvin, "Rossiiskaya istoriografiya bolshogo terrora". Paper presented at the ICCEES Warsaw Congress, 11 Aug. 1995.

Published in Scandinavian Journal of History, 21(1996):4, p. 332-341.

© Auvo Kostiainen

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