54 Secret Photos From A Finnish Defence Forces’ Safe

Secret Photos From A Finnish Defence Forces’ Safe

Posted on January 24, 2011 by team

Sixty years on, there are no grounds to withhold images kept in a Finnish Defence Forces' safe. The dull-looking cardboard box that contains three envelopes is full of horrific images from the Winter War (1939-40) and the Continuation War (1941-44). The box has been stored along with numerous plastic folders in a tall safe at the Finnish Defence Forces picture archives, in the Santahamina garrison in Helsinki.

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The first envelope contains pictures of a village in Finnish Lapland that was destroyed by Soviet partisans who crossed the border.


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54 Responses to “Secret Photos From A Finnish Defence Forces’ Safe”

  1. OLUT says:

    Wow, vey sad… and very difficult to view. :(

  2. ahm says:

    ER should post some pictures of some of the 100k finns that died in WW2, or how about one of the many Finnish concentration-camps?

    • asdf says:

      Who started it all? And why? Was there any single reason for soviets to attack Finland?

      • Jim-Bob says:

        About the same reason Stalin invaded the Baltic states around the same time. Stalin wanted “buffer states” between the USSR and the rest of the world because he was paranoid of invasion. In the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, the USSR and Nazi Germany had divided up Europe into regions of influence where either nation was allowed to operate in. So, the USSR tried to annex or force revolution in it’s countries and the Nazis did the same. The reason most people do not know about it is that the USSR was the US’s ally in WWII after Hitler violated the pact and invaded the USSR when he was ready. Had he not done that, the history of the war as taught in US schools may well have been different.

      • bleh says:

        finland was an easy access for hitler to st.petersburg you twat

        • too much vodka says:

          So I guess invading Belgium was justified for Germany in 1940 because Belgium was an easy acces to Germany for France which had declared war on Germany.

  3. js says:

    Thanks for posting honestly about the murderer partisans.

  4. Otis R. Needleman says:

    Yet more blood on Stalin’s hands. He should have left Finland alone, thereby sparing thousands and thousands of both Finns and Russians. But then again, he should have left a whole lot of other people alone, too, such as his fellow countrymen, the Baltic States, etc.

  5. CZenda says:

    I do not think this was a recently de-classified material. I saw some of the photos already (the human skin in the first part of the series etc.).
    I guess the first widely distributed reports of Soviet atrocities were brought by the notorious Signal magazine (Nazi propaganda cleverly presented in the pictorial style of the famous Life, published in many languages – Russian, too). E.g. many of the well-known photos of Katyn massacre come from Signal. There was also a digest (Best of Signal) published in English.

    • akrasia says:

      As far as I can remember, the human skin was sort of a trophy. ??? Russian soldiers ate some of their (dead) friends. Hard to understand such conditions. Never again.

  6. Elsa says:

    The partisan attack aftermath photos were difficult to watch. I’m tipping my hat for the guts to post them though.

  7. testicules says:

    The pictures of the dead children are disturbing. Much more so than the execution of terroristic killers that preyed on them. The Finns had every right to execute those scum.I have no sympathy for those that kill women and children. The execution of those that prey on the innocent should be automatic.

  8. urbanoid says:

    “T-34 tanks going to the front, 1943″

    On the first picture below there are BT tanks, while T-34 is on the second one.

  9. Left SR says:

    A “glimpse” of the 20th Century.

  10. asteroid no. 444 says:

    Between this post and the Moscow airport bombing, I’m depressed. Gonna go git drunk.

  11. AK862 says:

    Horrific images! The only thing I can say is that the partisans are not regular forces and therefore do not obey the rules of war (but who does anyway, right?). The partisans steal and kill for survival, and these are the direct results of their activities!! I am disgusted but I am NOT surprised sadly….

  12. Estonianguy says:

    The soviets got what they ordered.

  13. kater says:

    They were NOT partisans. Just regular Russian army invading Finland. Just as they invaded Poland, Baltic states and other countries unlucky enough to neighbor Russia. History teaches you that if you have a border with Russia, they WILL eventually try to invade you. Russia is so freakin’ big – why do they want to invade more land? Russians, you really have to stop this policy and attitude. Stop being aggressive. Stay within your borders.

  14. JM says:

    Guerrillas/partisants killed an enemy on their own land, they were ordinary terrorists.

  15. G says:

    Some thinking for those, who glorify war and think just of the “heroes” and great “achievements”.

    War is hell and murder and pain and horrific events.

  16. Tomac says:

    Yep. Those “heroes” weren’t partisans as partisans traditionally tought (like ones who battled in Poland/Ukraine)

    That’s actually other side of the coin when celebrating “the victory day”. By the way, those “baby killers” are still conserned as an heroes…

    But in every case, I dont see any point for arquing (among us) of the bad things done in past. Only truth is, that war just doesen’t make any sence.

    • Dutchman says:

      “that war just doesen’t make any sence”
      Yes, for us, mere mortals, it doesn`t. Like any other war. But there were, there are and there will always be politicians and governors of loose morals who never cared about the others. They like gambling with other lifes just for the lust of power. Like it or not, murderous deeds are inalienable part of human being, the most atrocious creature ever existed in the world…

  17. alikessu says:

    Thank you for posting these pictures, I believe I have seen one or two before from another source. The soviet partisan activity (and terror) at the border was held as an secret during and after the war. I can only wonder how you got this material in your hands, don’t never reveal your source please.
    War is hell, hope this wont happen never again.

  18. Gsom says:

    Of course, Stalin made mistakes, but he made Russia one of the strongest countries. We are not better, but not worse than others. We tried to defend ourselves, as America is doing it now.

  19. Daniel says:

    Só estou deixando um recado para parabenizar você pelo otimo trabalho em seu site. As informações variadas por aqui são maravilhosas, ensinam as belezas da Russia. Os post’s sobre locais abandonados são muito bons.
    Saudações de um fan no Brasil

  20. Finnish Alcoholics Online says:

    Finnish gays is the best in the world.

  21. Finnish Alcoholics Online says:

    I am a g@y!

  22. ArveAfGrip says:

    War is no way to solve conflicts. Sad sad to see the dead children (both sides). Hope we can keep that in mind and not start that again.

  23. TippiSimo says:

    Thanks for posting these.
    I have tried to find these pics, but couldnt.

    RIP, Finns and Soviets.

  24. EG says:

    If you cross other nation borders and destroy they villages and kill people , you not partisan but TERORIST. Use proper words.

  25. D.K. says:

    Definitely an interesting post. Despite it being quite gruesome I am glad these are being shown to the public for our generations to see the real face of war. I do believe these photos have been released about a year ago, perhaps more. Thank you for sharing them.

  26. Not the telezombie says:

    Lies for people with children’s thinking and logic loss.
    The USSR never conducted the latent wars with other countries with the help the guerrilla since military force was enormous and the whole world was afraid of it and not only the dwarfish countries of Europe if councils interfered that they achieved success of 100 %. (If Finland that it was necessary to them would be them in 1945.)

    • Airborne says:

      You’re kidding, right? The Soviets were masters of guerrilla warfare. It’s one of the few Soviet exports that was successful in the world “marketplace.”

  27. Mizz... (A) says:

    My guess is that, Finland (by Russia, from the Russian side) was given som sort of role of acting as a front defender for the russian borders, and Russia had taken The areas of Karelen and aclaim it as their own land before, and so it still today. But Since there is no economical or real miitary strategic points of Russian interests there they had to leave the contry in peace before and chose to not aclaim the land permanently.

    The Finsish soldiers where brave men and fighted back the Russian partisans wery well, but they where not many compared to the Russian army, in fact Finland never joined the nazis, it´s very important to make the difference in practice between an ideology and a war strategy nessesary for trying to protect Your own people.
    Many Brave Finish men died during the winter war trying to protect tehir own contry. Beside that, the svasticka logo used for example in the Finish Airforce was not the German svasticka, but based on an very aincent Finish symbol, same symbol as today vidley used in for example Asia as a symbol of the power of the sun, that symbol the Finish army used was also found on very aincent stones and runes in the northern contries thousands of years before Hitler adopted it.

    In fact most of the Russian soldiers was badly equipped and meet the death by the cold Arctic Winter nights.

    The Finish army men found thousens of dead russian soldiers who did not survive the nights without fire and only a thin fur jacket as cold protection, that´s was all they had to use as well as a tent and sleeping bag. Often it was not even possible to make a simple fire to trying to keep warm, because of the risks of being spotted by airforce or mortars and risking the whole troop getting killed. So they had to sacrifice.

    Tha symmary of the war was lot of blood wasting in the cold snow and almost nothing gained by Stalin (Russia had a lot of more men to sending in, and there was no longer possible for the Finish army to to hold the cities), only a great loose of good men on both sides.


    “Finlands sak är vår sak!”

    (from a Swedish war pooster, talking about the brotherhood of the nord contries and that we all are brothers and shall stand togeter and helping each other whatever happens)

    (I Hawe nothing against Russia, i love russia and i realy hope that we will become brothers again and work together instead of against each other as we once did in early history, many of us are in fact brothers by blood since long time ago)

  28. Mike says:

    The final conversations between Finnish and Russian leadership before winter war was about regional supply along the coast of the gulf of Finland, which Finland denied. Stalin wanted the sea route to St. Petersburg to be secured. Before the continuation war, Finland was practically allied with Nazi Germany, who flied sorties into russian territory from Finnish airspace. Also, Finnish remote patrols had been destroying the Murmansk railway line, so the Finns were not actually innocent in this case.

    Those who feel sorry for the Finnish people I’d like to remind that the figures for dead and missing were 25,904 (Finland) against 126,875 (Russia) after the winter war and 63,204 (Finland) against 200,000 (Russia) after the continuation war. 20–30 Finnish tanks against 3,543 Russian tanks. You can see the figures in Wikipedia.

    There still exists a collective trauma among the middle-aged, and many people have negative attitudes against the Russian people. I find the Russian people the most heart warming people I’ve ever met. And the food is good. And the women beautiful.

    • Mike says:

      The writer is Finnish.

    • CZenda says:

      Finland was receiving military aid not only from Germany, but from UK, too. Soviet attack and following Winter War was generally unacceptable to anybody outside USSR. IIRC, there is at least one instance documented of a dogfight when both Finnish and Soviet fighters were flying the same crate – a Hurricane. The Finnish one was delivered to Finland shortly after the Winter War, the Soviet one to USSR during 1942 when USSR was buying second-hand matériel from UK to patch up the front.

    • perkle says:

      im from finland and i know why i dont like russian people. its not that much about war anymore. its more like hate against evry forgeing person. as hitler tried to clear germany from judesn and black and gays… this is not as far taken hate. but for me and i speak now only as myself not as ewry finnish man.. but stil i dont like russains begause way they act and things they do nowdays.
      as like i hate ppl from middle east because they bring more crimes in here. thers statics about that in some newspaper that over 80% crimes hapened in finland are made by some other than finnish person.

      Remember i speak only as myself not as people of finland.
      and this wahs just whta i think.

      • OLUT says:

        Perkle, I think you’re cheating yourself. I see those same statistics too and they can make you feel like everybody else is a crook, but what they don’t show is how many do not cause trouble.

        A lot of people talk bad about Romanians, for example. One of my good friends is Romanian, she moved here at age 10 with her family. She’s a gifted artist, extremely good person, and her parents went from having nothing to building a successful business — without being criminals.

        My point is, hate people on an individual basis. Meet them individually, then decide if they are worth hating or not.

    • Jerk says:

      “Before the continuation war, Finland was practically allied with Nazi Germany, who flied sorties into russian territory from Finnish airspace. Also, Finnish remote patrols had been destroying the Murmansk railway line, so the Finns were not actually innocent in this case. ”

      No, you mean _during_ the continuation war. Finland was innocent in Winter War, only help we received was from Sweden mostly, Nazi Germany had no interest in us at that time. For them we only became relevant in the next war when it was time for the Barbarossa. Murmansk railroad guerrilla strikes also was also done in the Continuation war.

    • Matias says:

      Actually. Some latest Russian studies have suggested Soviet military deaths being above 150 000, not 126 875. There are lots of several studies done e.g David Glantz suggesting that real Soviet military casualties have been much bigger than official claims (like Krivosheev’s figures of 10 million casualties). Glantz estimated that Soviet military deaths have been about 14.7 million.

      Soviet military officials tended to count down their military losses (from regiment to division, from division to corps, from corps to army, from army to armygroup, from army group to high command, etc….)

  29. Matias says:

    Don’t ever forget that both Finland and Sweden were victims of German-Russo pact of August 1939. After Winter War and German invasion to Denmark and Norway they both were under heavy pressure from east, west and south.

    And now the question: why didn’t western allies declare the war against Soviet Union after Soviet attacking to Poland?

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