Veli-Pekka Lehtola:
In the Crossfire of War

When the Continuation War ended in September 1944 and southern Finland settled down to the work of peace, the Lapland War began in the Province of Lapland, including Sápmi, the Sámi homeland.  As a prelude to this war the Sámi and Finnish populations of the Province of Lapland were evacuated to central Ostrobothnia, except for small groups of Reindeer Sámi of the Eanodat and western Aanaar regions who went to northern Sweden. 

The war against the Germans meant the loss of houses, boats and other possessions, but also for the Sámi and their culture it was a turning point, after which nothing was as it had been.  The old Sápmi was completely destroyed; the new Sápmi was rebuilt from the ground up following Finnish models and ideals.  The period of the evacuation, lasting the entire winter of 1944-45, is a recurring topic of conversation for older Sámi.  Contemporary Sámi culture could not be properly understood without knowledge of the whole issue of the Lapland War.

An exciting story about experiences of the small indigenous people in and after the Second World War. Translated by Linna Weber Müller-Wille.

Forthcoming in 2017.

© Copyright Veli-Pekka Lehtola 2021  

Lea Virolainen & Lucci