30 marraskuuta 2019

State of Mind - Helsinki 1939-1945

The Winter War began exactly 80 years ago, on November 30, 1939. To commemorate this tragic day, I visited with family the Hakasalmi Villa's exhibition State of Mind - Helsinki 1939-1945. The exhibition was impressive with text posters, films and large photo enlargements that illuminated the everyday life in the shadows of bombing. Already on the first day of the war, Helsinki was bombed, along with 15 other locations, and nearly a hundred were killed. Fortunately, bad weather disrupted the bombing and evacuations could be started. Of the 250,000 inhabitants of Helsinki, only about 65,000 remained in the city.

This is the Helsinki University and their furniture on the street.

The exhibition focuses on how life was like in the shadows of bombing and how the evacuations affected moods. I had never known anything about the Secret State of Mind Intelligence, which had recruited thousands of ordinary citizens to report moods, rumors, and dissent in the workplace, in town and on public transport. The information was passed on to the military commanders to provide a picture of the civilian mindset that affected the combat capabilities of the frontline soldiers.

The State of Mind Intelligence office was located in the center of the city and disguised as 
New Correspondence Association. The office employed about a dozen people in 1942 and 
there were over 2,500 registered agents'. Part of the archive was burned in the autumn of 1944.
The material that could be preserved has been deposited in the National Archives.

On the label it reads Finlands barn - Children of Finland.

One quarter of all war children were from Helsinki. The metropolitan area sent
20,000 children to Sweden and Denmark during the war years. 
Children's train departed from Helsinki railway station twice a week. 
The Arcturus, which evacuated children, always carried five hundred children at a time
from Turku to Stockholm.

The most valuable were taken from Helsinki to the provinces and even to Sweden:
children, women, the elderly, treasures of science and art, and public sculptures.

Helsinki got really empty. Especially after the bombings, people crowded at the bus 
and train station and paid an overcharge for a taxi ride. It is estimated that in 1944 from 
February to March alone 102,000 - 120,000 people departed. 

The exhibition is designed and curated by author Anna Kortelainen.
The combination of works of art, photographs, objects and mindset quotes 
acts as a barometer of contradictory feelings, moments of joy, suspicion, fear and defiance.

My text is based on the exhibition's text posters, Hakasalmi villa’s exhibition info and Wikipedia.

This war-time song was very popular among the Finnish front-line soldiers during the wartime. Film material on this video is taken from the Finnish classic movie Tuntematon sotilas (The Unknown Soldier, 1955) by Edvin Laine. The story is about the Continuation War (1941-1944) between Finland and the Soviet Union as told from the viewpoint of ordinary Finnish soldiers.


#all seasons   #der natur donnerstag   #digitalart dienstag   #foto-tunes   #gartenglück    
#image-in-ing   #makrotex   #mosaic monday   #my corner of the world   
#saturday’s critters   # t in die neue woche   #the weekend roundup   #tuesday’s treasures
#uudet värikollaasit   #wandering camera   #willy-nilly   #watw 

22 kommenttia:

  1. ...war is such senseless thing!

  2. Hienot kuvat! Tuossa näyttelyssä nähtävää riittää ja ajatuksia varmasti herättää..Mukavaa alkavaa joulukuuta, tuokoon se mukanaan kaikkea ihanaa♥

    1. Hieno ja hiljaiseksi vetävä näyttely. Kamalia aikoja, toivottavasti ei meillä ikinä toistu.

  3. Una información importante que no conocía. Besitos.

    1. Sí, muy tristes tiempos Teresa. Pero España tiene los suyos.

  4. So interesting ... I knew about the Children’s trains in England, but not about Finland. It is not so hard for me to imagine how those children must have felt ... I can remember being 4 years old in 1944 and my father going off to war. But we were far away and safe.

    1. Alltogether about 80 000 children were sent to other Scandinavian countries. Some of them returned after the war, some stayed there. Their life was not easy. Many books about these war children have been written, as well as research made.

  5. Liebe Riita,
    wie du weisst, interessiere ich mich ganz besonders für die Zeit und ich finde es sehr gut und auch sehr interessant, dass du über diese Ausstellung berichtest.
    Wieviel Leid hier unter die Zivilbevölkerung kam ist unbeschreiblich.
    Vielen lieben Dank für diesen Bericht, man darf das nicht vergessen und es ist auch schade,
    dass viele diese Zeit vergessen habe und auch nicht darüber berichten.
    Ich wünsche dir einen schönen 1. Advent.

    Lieben Gruß Eva

    1. Liebe Eva,

      Die Ausstellung war sehr beeindruckend. Natürlich kann ich die ständige Angst und Furcht der Menschen nicht verstehen. Nächte in Luftschutzbunkern, einstürzende Häuser. Helsinki wurde während der Kriege 65 Tage lang bombardiert. Die Verwüstung in Europa und in Deutschland war natürlich noch schlimmer. Wir dürfen dies und die Tatsache, dass in vielen Ländern der Welt eine ähnliche Zerstörung andauert, nicht vergessen.

  6. Liebe riitta,
    ein sehr interessanter Bericht und viele erinnerungswürdige Informationen. Wir sollten die unsinnige Zerstörungswut eines Krieges nie vergessen.
    Schönen Adventsonntag und liebe Grüße

  7. Thank you for teaching me about something I was not so aware of. How very sad.

  8. Disturbing pics but profound!

  9. What a fascinating, and sad, piece of history that I was unaware of.

  10. Children from England were sent to Canada during the war. A wonderful tribute so that people don't forget the ravages of war. - Margy

  11. Interesting exibition.
    We must learn from our past...

  12. We have much to learn from world history and should not ignore it’s lessons. Thank you for sharing. I learned a lot from you today. Thank you.

  13. It really does make your heart sink to read about this time in history. What a shame! I'm so glad you shared this exhibit my friend!

  14. War is such a senseless thing! Thank you for sharing this history with us.


  15. Riitta - war is so disruptive. What a blessing that the children were sent away to be safe. Like you, I was unaware that such an office existed to monitor the moods of the citizens - fascinating. Thanks for sharing this history and the evocative photos with everyone at Mosaic Monday!

  16. Interesting history. The little film made me cry. What is wrong with humanity? We never seem to learn the most important lessons.

  17. Amazing place to visit - so glad you shared this at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2019/12/headed-to-philadelphia.html


Kiitos kommentistasi - Thank you for your comment ♥ All comments containing an advertising link shall be removed.

Kommentoimalla HYVÄKSYT, että Google kerää sinusta määrättyjä tietoja. Mitä ne ovat, löytyy sivulta Yksityisyydensuoja sekä Googlen sivulta.