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Forgotten in the Wilderness: WWII German PoW Camps in Finnish Lapland

Chapter
Part of the One World Archaeology book series (WORLDARCH)

Abstract

In the later part of the Second World War, German troops were responsible for a front of nearly a thousand kilometers in Lapland, Northern Finland. The Germans built close to 100 prisoner of war and labor camps in the area, and imprisoned some 30,000 Russian soldiers there. Since Lapland’s infrastructure was very poor, the prisoners were used as a workforce for tasks such as building and improving roads and bridges. The prison camps and military bases, as well as their archives, were almost completely destroyed during the German retreat from Finland, in 1944–1945, in the Lapland War between the Finns and the Germans. In this chapter we report on preliminary fieldwork at the German base of Peltojoki, and we discuss how archaeology can contribute to the study and understanding of military sites from the recent past.

Keywords

Military Site Archaeological Fieldwork German Soldier Animal Shed Supply Depot 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank the volume editors, Antti Lahelma, and Wesa Perttola, for reading and commenting on earlier drafts. Despite this assistance, the authors are responsible for any remaining mistakes. Additional thanks are also due to Yrjö Norokorpi of the Finnish Forest Administration, Jari Leskinen, Aki Romakkaniemi, and Kai Romakkaniemi of the Lapland War Historical Society, and Hans Niittyvuopio of Muotkan Ruoktu. Finally, for assistance in the field, we thank Kerkko Nordqvist, Anu Herva, Ulrika Köngäs, Heidi Nordqvist, Sanna Seitsonen, and last but not least two charming little girls, Elsa and Sohvi Seitsonen.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geosciences and GeographyUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.Department of ArchaeologyUniversity of OuluOuluFinland

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