Not everyone in Finland knows that there are victims of Stalin’s persecution in Sweden as well. Anneli Kusfält’s documentary reveals the individual stories of some elderly Ingrians, of which one of them is her father. Through their stories they tell what it’s like to abandon their homes, escape across the Baltic Sea from Finland to Sweden and have fathers and sons apprehended by the secret police.
According to a census in 1926, there were 115,000 Ingrian Finns and 15,000 ethnic Finns living in a region located between Estonia and Lake Ladoga. Their persecution began in 1929, which led to the capture and murder of the local Lutheran clergy and the arson of their churches.
By the beginning of the Second World War, approximately half of the population was deported to Siberia due to the collectivization of agriculture. After the Germans occupied Western Ingria, Germany made an agreement with Finland to relocate tens of thousands of people from the region. Some thousands of them fled on to Sweden.
Several old Ingrians share their stories full of hardships for the camera. Their most prized possession, the Finnish language, has still remained – even though the childhood memories of long-lost homes have faded.
Translation: Aki Pitkäkoski
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Film Title : Silent Displacement – The Unknown Deportation of Ingria
Language : Swedish, Finnish, Russian, Swedish sign language
Director : Anneli Kustfält
Year : 2019
Length : 59
Age limit : K12
Format : DCP
Cinematographer : Pia Lehto
Editing : Sami Putkinen
Producer : Saam Kapadia, Anneli Kustfält
Production Company : Sveriges Television, SVT
Title in Original Language : Se tapahtui Inkerinmaalla – Det hände i Ingermanland
Wed 29.1. at 18.15, Kino Regina, followed by a Q&A with director Anneli Kustfält