Raija-Liisa Mäkelä: Minä, muilutetun tytär. Puoli vuosisataa Neuvostoliitossa [Abductee's daughter. Half a century in the Soviet Union]

5 July 2010 | Mini reviews, Reviews

Minä, muilutetun tytär. Puoli vuosisataa Neuvostoliitossa
[Abductee's daughter. Half a century in the Soviet Union]
Jyväskylä: Minerva, 2009. 321 p, ill.
ISBN 978-952-492-294-4
€ 24, hardback

During the period 1910-1930 many people defected from Finland to Russia/USSR both for political reasons and in the hope of  better living standards. The labourite leader Yrjö Mäkelä was forcibly abducted across the border by the radical Finnish right-wing anti-Communist Lapua People’s Movement. Mäkelä’s fiancée also emigrated to the USSR, where the couple married and had two children. Raija-Liisa Mäkelä was born in Petrozavodsk, close to the Finnish border, in 1938, but never saw her father, who was interned in one of Stalin’s prisons and executed, although innocent. In the Soviet Union the Mäkelä family had both to carry the label of ‘enemy of the people’ and to endure majority (Russian) population’s antipathy towards Finns. The memoirs cover the family’s experiences from 1930 until 1990, when the author was able to move to Finland. In addition to providing evidence of remarkable survival skills, the book contains an interesting portrayal of Finnish widows and their families living in Petrozavodsk and nearby Sortavala.

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1 comment:

  1. Charles

    One hopes to see more memoirs and biographies of individual Finns living in the Finnish diaspora in Russian Karelia.

    Their experience of living so very close to Finland, and within lands formerly a cultural part of Finland, will be interesting to readers familiar with descriptions of other diaspora groups — Armenians in Turkey, etc.

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