Memories of the Stalinist repression project (2021–2022)
The Memories of the Stalinist repression project by SKS (2021–2022) records the history of the victims of the repression and their descendants’ experiences of the persecution which is a little known part of national history in present day Finland. The project is a continuation to the Memories of the Stalinist repression collection organised by SKS from 27 January to 31 May 2020.
The project also includes interviews of the descendants of those who died or disappeared during the Stalinist repression from the 1930s to 1950s. According to estimates, approximately 8,000 to 25,000 Finnish people died or disappeared during this period. About the same number of “Reds” died in the Finnish Civil War, and the number of casualties in the Winter War was also close to that. As this is a politically sensitive topic, it is a part of Finnish history that is little discussed. Even though the fate of thousands of Finnish people who died or disappeared during the repression is still unclear, many families have tried to find out about their lives, and oral history of the victims of the repression and original material still remain. This project of archiving and recording oral history gathers information about what is known about the lives of the victims, how people have tried to find out about their lives, and how this oral history has been transferred from generation to generation.
In addition to interviews, the project also includes gathering original material that the descendants of the victims of the Stalinist repression still have at their disposal, such as private diaries, letters and photographs. The interviews conducted and materials disclosed in the project are archived in the archive collections of SKS.
The project by SKS collaborates with the National Archives of Finland’s project “Finns in Russia 1917–1964”.
Project’s steering group
- Secretary General Tuomas Lehtonen (SKS), Chair of the steering group
- Archive Director Outi Hupaniittu (SKS)
- Research Director Päivi Happonen (National Archives of Finland)
- Professor Kimmo Rentola (University of Helsinki)
- Docent Ulla Savolainen (University of Helsinki)
- Reporter Unto Hämäläinen, initiator in implementing the collection of oral history
- The share of the Finnish Literature Society (SKS), 2021–2022
- Kone Foundation, 2021–2022
Project Coordinator Meeri Siukonen, tel. +358 (0)50 470 4938, firstname.lastname@example.org