Specific Features of Collaborationism on the Territory of Karelia Occupied by the Finnish Troops during the Great Patriotic War

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Verigin S.G., Petrozavodsk, Russian Federation

Specific Features of Collaborationism on the Territory of Karelia Occupied by the Finnish Troops during the Great Patriotic War


Drawing on a wide range of archival sources from the fonds of state and departmental archives of Russia and Finland, the author studies collaboration in the occupied territories of Karelia during the Great Patriotic War. The article is the first study of the subject in the Russian historiography. The author distinguishes four types of collaboration: political, economic (commercial), cultural and military. The Military administration in the Eastern Karelia tried to outreach local Finno-Ugrian public, which were to become the citizens of the “Greater Finland”. The propaganda emphasized national and cultural unity of Finland and Karelia. Collaboration was not wide-spread on the territory of Karelia, in fact, it was lower than in other occupied countries of the region. No more than 3000 Karelians (about 3%) evacuated to Finland in 1944 while the Finnish troops retreated. The low level of collaboration is explained by absence of wide social base for collaborationism. In the opening stage of the war the prisoners, special settlers (former kulaks) and other vaguely anti-Soviet persons were evacuated. The most part of the population in the occupation zone took a passive stand and primarily strived to survive the hardships of the war. The documental materials analysis demonstrates that Finnish occupational regime national strategies for ethnically separating Finno-Ugric and Russian population of Karelia in 1941 – 1944 came to nought and didn’t enlist sympathies of the Karelians, Finns and Veps. Indeed the people supposedly released from “Russian captivity” rose in arms and took a stand for independence of their country alongside with Russians and the other peoples of the USSR.


The Great Patriotic War, Karelia, collaboration, the Finnish occupational regime, archival sources

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About the authors

Verigin Sergey Gennadievich, PhD in History, professor at Petrozavodsk State University, Petrozavodsk, Russian Federation, 8-911-400-46-51, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

You can read completely article in the russian historic-archival magazine “The Herald of an Archivist”. Read more about terms of subscription here.

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