All pictures shown in these pages have never before
been released to the public.
Russia went for a land grab with Hitler in 1939, though the British and Americans pretended it didn't happen. After many victories in
the Winter War by the Finns, Viipuri (Vyborg) was finally captured by the
Soviets, but it cost them dearly. Viipuri was a good port that the Russians had
wanted for hundreds of years. The picture of Russian occupation troops was found
by Antti when he returned to Viipuri in 1941.
More pictures of
Stalin's buddies, captured by the victorious Finnish Army from Antti's
"Mielellään ryssät kuori potatitkin" - Antti Joronen
Näistä venäläisistä ei monikaan jäänyt henkeen kun
heidät palaudettiin Venäjälle sodan jälkeen.
"The Russians were even glad to peel the potatoes"
The Finns seem to be satisfied with that situation.
Stalin did not appreciate returning prisoners of war. A total of some 5,5
million were recovered after the war. Thousands were massacred on arrival, while
the overwhelming majority of the remainder disappeared and died in forced-labour
camps. Stalin felt that anyone who had been outside the Soviet Union was a
potential counter-revolutionary. The NKVD collected "enemies of the people"
(including minorities) and sent them, untrained and frequently unarmed, to the
battlefield. General Ratov stated that "in the Soviet Union we use people," and
declined British mine detectors. I wonder how many of these Russians were
sent to Siberia or shot when they were turned over to Stalin after the war.
Antti said some of them drowned themselves rather than go back, and
conversations with other old soldiers confirmed similar stories. Into such a
society did Churchill and Roosevelt condemn much of Eastern Europe, the Baltic
States and Karelia.
Antti said that the Russian soldiers hardly ever had any food when
they were taken prisoner. The Finns always had some hard black bread with them
in addition to whatever else food they were supplied with. It was so hard that
it was necessary to soak the bread in liquid, such as tea. Antti spoke a little
Russian and said that their captives were very nice people and he treated them
Russians cutting hay.
Russians would rather do some work than be confined in some camp. They
were used alot on farms in Finland according to Antti. The Finns did not have to
confine the Russian prisoners either because they were happy not to be fighting
the Finnish people. They had been lied to by their government, and now that they
knew the truth, they were dangerous to Stalin, who sent them away after the war
to die in Siberia in most cases. Most did not want to go back to Russia but were
forced to do so by Stalin.
© 1998 - 2006 Osmo Joronen