Custom Search
A | A | A | Report content





When the Winter War started 30. Nov. 1939 I was about four. I have some memorywhen we were evacuated and on the way to the railroad, station we saw over the baywhen Suojarvi Kaipaa sawmill was burning. I think the mill was owned by AunuksenWood Company Ltd. Women were crying and the whole atmosphere was scary. Therewas some snow on the ground. There were only a few men. Father was at work on theengine. From the train journey, I remember a man who had lost his control and had to beheld down. We were taken on the train to western Finland to Laukaa. We got a smallabandoned two-room house to live in. Water would freeze inside the house too it was socold. It happened that the sauna we were using burned down and it was the same scaryfeeling again. I remember that in this same village had ended up the owner of the greatBomba house from our district. In the sauna, this big man once slipped and fell on me. Inthat place men and women went to sauna together.We were in Laukaa until the spring when schools were out. Then we moved again toa place by a river. There we lived in the now empty schoolhouse. At this time father alsocame to live with us. The next place was Killinkoski where we went during the summer.There was born our next child Risto. The whole year and a half of peacetime until fall of 1941 we stayed in that place. There I also saw my first Santa Claus. Near our place was achurch where slide pictures were shown. I remember the many soldiers that were around.In Killinkoski, I tried for the first time smoking. Near the church, we had built a smallshelter from branches. That caught fire and almost burned the church too. I was not to blame for this one because I was in a hospital with a sore knee. There were many men inthe hospital. After I knew that, they were wounded soldiers. Father was doing woodwork,dishes etc., some for ourselves, some for sale.After the Continuation War started in June 1941, the Finns regained their lost landand advanced quite far to East Karjala. We were able to move back to our home village.I do not remember anything about the move. When we got there, we saw that there weretwo buildings standing. One was our sauna. That became our first home. I was sleepingunder the table. Our next home was six-sided cardboard tent. It was a fine house in thesummertime. Then the Russians planes started shooting all ground targets and our tentwas taken down. I think that was summer of -1942. Our living got better when two roomswere added to the sauna. Father had stored some building material for a new barn before

the Winter War but that too was now burned. Father was born in 1904 and too old to goto the front. During the Continuation War, he left his job with the State Railroads andlearned brick laying work.I started school during the war in Suojarvi. The war ended badly for the Finns and welost the Karelia land again. The second time we left Suojarvi was June 23. 1944. It wasthe eve of midsummer Juhannus. I was eight years old and remember quite a lot aboutthose times. When we left, all our belongings were in a four-wheeled wagon. Two cowsand a young calf were tied to it and following us. The calf did not want to leave and putthe brakes on. The first night we stayed at some school. They were giving away schoolmaterials and we took some too. Our journey to Viitasaari had started. At some point, wegot on a train and father alone was driving the horse and wagon. We had five childrennow. Myself, Raili and Raija born before the war in Suojarvi, Ritva born in Suojarviduring the war and Risto born when we were in Killinkoski. We got off the train inSuolahti, Central Finland. From there we continued on a barge to Viitasaari. Loading the barge was not easy. There were people, animals and noise. Children had to be watchedthat they do not fall in the water. We walked onto the barge on a wooden board.In Viitasaari, we settled in Kokkola house in Karne village. Sometimes the house wason an island and sometimes we could walk to it when the water was low. The house hadtwo rooms and in one room now lived three families. The owners lived in the other room.The two rooms were separated with about one metre space in between.In Kokkola house, we did not stay the whole summer. We moved to Puronsuu inViitasaari. Before the winter, our parents moved to Rintamaa in Pasala village inViitasaari. Children were taken to different places. The three older ones went to Larsmonear Pietarsaari on the west coast in the Swedish speaking area. Two-year-old Risto wentto a place called Forsby also in the Swedish speaking area. Ritva was a baby and stayedwith the mother. Rintamaa was an orphanage where our parents got an old sauna to livein while the new one was finished. In there father did carpentry and other work. The place was kept by the Pentecostal church.Three of us, me and two sisters were in Larsmo until the fall. Before the schoolstarted, we were moved to Salahmi village in Vierema County in north Savo province. Assoon as the load of kids got off the truck, we saw a pile of drainage pipes on the ground.We all started hitting them with rocks because it made such an interesting sound. Brother Risto appeared during the winter from Forsby. He spoke Swedish now and said to me
“kom

har”. I had missed my brother and now he did not know me
anymore. Called meJalo. Then I started crying. Suojarvi, Ritva born in Suojarviduring the war and Risto born when we were in Killinkoski. We got off the train inSuolahti, Central Finland. From there we continued on a barge to Viitasaari. Loading the barge was not easy. There were people, animals and noise. Children had to be watchedthat they do not fall in the water. We walked onto the barge on a wooden board.In Viitasaari, we settled in Kokkola house in Karne village. Sometimes the house wason an island and sometimes we could walk to it when the water was low. The house hadtwo rooms and in one room now lived three families. The owners lived in the other room.The two rooms were separated with about one metre space in between.In Kokkola house, we did not stay the whole summer. We moved to Puronsuu inViitasaari. Before the winter, our parents moved to Rintamaa in Pasala village inViitasaari. Children were taken to different places. The three older ones went to Larsmonear Pietarsaari on the west coast in the Swedish speaking area. Two-year-old Risto wentto a place called Forsby also in the Swedish speaking area. Ritva was a baby and stayedwith the mother. Rintamaa was an orphanage where our parents got an old sauna to livein while the new one was finished. In there father did carpentry and other work. The place was kept by the Pentecostal church.Three of us, me and two sisters were in Larsmo until the fall. Before the schoolstarted, we were moved to Salahmi village in Vierema County in north Savo province. Assoon as the load of kids got off the truck, we saw a pile of drainage pipes on the ground.We all started hitting them with rocks because it made such an interesting sound. Brother Risto appeared during the winter from Forsby. He spoke Swedish now and said to me
“kom

har”. I had missed my brother and now he did not know me
anymore. Called meJalo. Then I started crying.