Sodan haavoittama lapsuus [A childhood scarred by war]

11 August 2011 | Mini reviews, Reviews

Sodan haavoittama lapsuus
[A childhood scarred by war]
Toimittaneet [Edited by]: Anne Kuorsalo & Iris Saloranta
Helsinki: Gummerus, 2010. 288 p., ill.
ISBN 978-951-20-8107-3
€ 34, hardback

Around 1.5 million Finns were children during the Winter and Continuation Wars of 1939–1944. Three hundred children are estimated to have been killed by bombs, and between 55,000 and 80,000 were orphaned by the war. Many more deaths were caused by diseases such as tuberculosis, polio and cerebral meningitis. Some children lived fairly secure lives on farms with their own families or with relatives; some were sent to live with foster families in Sweden; some were evacuated from Karelia and a small number were interned in camps because of their German heritage. Many under-18s served in the Finnish military and would now be considered child soldiers. Finns who were born in the 1930s and early 1940s have long been a neglected group: for several decades, discussions of the victims of war were avoided for foreign policy reasons as well. It is only in recent years that discussions have emerged concerning the fates of the children who were sent to Sweden during the war and those who were born to Finnish women, fathered by German soldiers. This book includes the stories of thirty people. The views of some refugees who have settled in Finland are included as well, such as the story of Mahmoud, who fled from Iraq via people smugglers.
Translated by Ruth Urbom


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