View Full Version : The Lapp King's Daughter

June Pelo
07-11-10, 23:03
The Lapp King's Daughter Book Talk with Stina Katchadourian at Scandinavia House Tuesday, November 16

From 1939 to 1945, Finland fought three wars: the Winter War of 1939, when the Soviet Union attacked the country; the Continuation War, when Finland fought the Soviet Union alongside Germany; and the Lapland War of 1944-45 against Germany.

Stina Katchadourian's memoir, The Lapp King's Daughter, tells the story of how these three wars uprooted the lives of one Finnish family. The book draws on the author's childhood memories and also on the correspondence between her parents, who were separated during most of World War II, with the father on the front, fighting the Soviets. In 1944, the mother took her two daughters from their home in Helsinki and moved them to the presumed safety of a farm in Finnish Lapland. A pawn in the power play between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, Finland had allied itself with Germany, hoping to stave off a Russian occupation. But in the summer of 1944, Finland could no longer fight, and so concluded a separate ceasefire with the Soviets.

The peace conditions were harsh. No one knew what the Red Army would do next. Things did get worse. Strongly used by the Russians, the Finns attacked
the Germans in Lapland. This conflict was preceded by a mass evacuation of the population of Finnish Lapland (100,000 people and their livestock), as the retreating Germans, 0using the scorched-earth tactic, burned down all of Finnish Lapland. Sixty years later, after both her parents had passed away, Katchadourian read their wartime correspondence for the first time, while she was a resident at the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire. Through those
carefully saved and chronologically bundled letters emerges a little girl who, sheltered by her parents' love, never realized how close to the brink she and her country had come. Finland's dramatic political history during World War II and how this small country retained its independence despite facing occupation by
the Soviet Union or domination by Nazi Germany is told in riveting detail in this eyewitness account, which also includes family photos, maps, historical photos, and other unique material from Swedish and Finnish archives.

Co-presented by Scandinavia House in collaboration with the Finlandia Foundation. Free. Tues. November 16, 6:30 pm
Scandinavia House
58 Park Avenue, 38th Street,
Phone: 212.779.3587

Karen Norwillo
10-11-10, 19:17
Bought a copy on Amazon. It came today. Can't wait to read it.

Karen Norwillo
12-11-10, 17:15
Finished the book. A wonderful read. Tells you in great detail all the people of Finland, in particular Lapland went through not so long ago. I can relate fully, as this was the story of my Sulasalmi ancestors, whose original farm now is in Karelia. When they returned to the Salla area, the government gave them new land to farm, which is still in my cousin's family. Visited this area in 2008.

Karen Norwillo
18-11-10, 16:44
If anyone would like to read this, send me a PM and I will mail it to you. Just keep it going and pass it on.

11-02-11, 16:16
Just arrived on this Forum. Do not remember how I found this site but ran across a Postl of yours that mentioned something about a mine shaft in Pa. Now I see in this post a mention of being a Sulasami. Turns out that I knew a Sulasalmi who worked for E.J. Longyear and was sinking an zinc mine shaft in Friedensville, Pa. Could it be that this is a relative? My dad, Oscar Pirila was a shift boss and became Mine Forman. My menory of first name is poor but I knew he did work on my dad's shift in about 1948 to 1950.
Charles Pirila