• restricted access Граница и люди. Воспоминания советских переселенцев Приладожской Карелии и Карельского перешейка ред. по Е. А. Мельникова, Многоликая Финляндия. Образ Финляндии и финнов в России ред. по А. Н. Цамутали, О. П. Илюхи и Г. М. Коваленко (review)
  • Archimandrite Pavel Stefanov
  • Ab Imperio
  • Ab Imperio
  • 1/2008
  • pp. 323-327
  • 10.1353/imp.2008.0100
  • Review
  • View Citation
  • Additional Information
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323 Ab Imperio, 1/2008 Archimandrite Pavel STEFANOV Граница и люди. Воспоми- нания советских переселенцев Приладожской Карелии и Ка- рельского перешейка / Науч. ред. Е. А. Мельникова. Сост. В. Ю. Макарова и др. Санкт-Петербург: Изд. Европейского университета в Санкт-Петербурге, 2005. 484 с. (=Studia Ethnologica, вып. 2). ISBN: 5-94380-041-7; Многоликая Финляндия. Образ Финляндии и финнов в России / Сб статей под научн. ред. А. Н. Цамутали, О. П. Илюхи и Г. М. Ко- валенко. Великий Новгород: Изд. Новгородского государственного университета имени Ярослава Мудрого, 2004. 404 с., ил. (На- учные доклады, вып. 1). ISBN: 5-98769-003-X. These two books are devoted to one and the same subject – RussianFinnish relations – but they differ a lot in their method, attitude and scope. The first one, appropriately named Border and People, is a brilliant example of the genre of oral history, which is little known in Eastern Europe. It is the first attempt to record the recollections of Soviet settlers in Karelia and the Karelian isthmus after the territories’ annexation in March 1940 and again in the autumn of 1944 and thereafter. The final incorporation of these territories was confirmed by the Paris peace treaty of 1947. In spite of the Soviet government decree of May 28, 1940, few people were anxious to resettle former Finnish Karelia. The authorities then used force to bring some 188,000 people to the north by the spring of 1941 when a radical change of the infrastructure was carried out – small private farms were destroyed and large kolkhozes were set up. The second migration lasting from 1944 till the early 1950s was more successful because the war brought about the massive destruction of property in the USSR, and people were much more prepared to move and change their lives. The newly acquired territory went through an identity replacement as well, since all Soviet toponyms were substituted for Finnish ones. In many aspects the acquisition of Karelia by the Soviet empire is similar or identical with the process that was carried out in East Prussia (now the Kaliningrad region). But while Soviet settlers encountered former inhabitants of East Prussia, all of the Fins had left Karelia well in advance of the Russians moving in. Communist propaganda, which indoctrinated the settlers, claimed that the territory ostensibly belonged to ancient Novgorod and was later occupied by Finland. They were constantly warned to be “on their guard” against Finnish sabotage and revenge killings. Of course, nothing of this sort happened. On the con- 324 Рецензии/Reviews large majority of the interviewees were under twenty years old when they arrived with their parents. Of their total number 73 are women and 22 men, which reflects the general trend in Russia of women living much longer than men. The stated aim of the interviewing campaign is the study of the extent to which the Soviet settlers adapted to the new cultural landscape and social environment, the preservation of oral tradition from the period before resettlement and the creation of a new one, the setting of borders around their own community and self-identification with the former autochthonous inhabitants of the territory, and the attitude towards the pre-war past of the region and its previous inhabitants. It must be acknowledged that the expeditions managed to achieve their aim. When interviewers started their work, they did not avail themselves of a set of formulated questions but were anxious to discover the topics that interested the inhabitants and which dealt with the formation, change and use of local tradition. While oral historians are suspicious of stereotypical answers, the members of the expedition expected and relied on repetition and the common places (topoi) of the discourse which distinguishes any society and sets it apart from all others. The interviews collected are not published in full, but as excerpts which are arranged trary, former owners who surreptitiously crossed the border and visited their former houses, showed hoards of hidden products and utensils to the new occupants, and in some cases hanged themselves in the barns during the night due to acute grief. While Soviet-Finnish relations before and during the so-called Winter war of 1939-1940 are well studied on both sides of the border , the postwar reclamation of the newly acquired lands has received scarce attention. In recent years it has become the focus of study of an international project titled The Conditions for Constructing New Russia: Interactions of Tradition and Europeanness in the Development of 20th Century Russia, financed by the FinnishAcademy.Three expeditions have been carried out between 2001 and 2003 by a small joint group of the European University in St. Petersburg (Russia...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2164-9731
Print ISSN
2166-4072
Pages
pp. 323-327
Launched on MUSE
2015-10-07
Open Access
No
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