Wednesday 29 March 2017

"Durchgangslager Hangö" Helsinki-Raseborg (Ekenäs)-Hanko-Turku-Raseborg (Karis)-Helsinki.

Yesterday I ventured on a 12 hour long (car) journey to promote the scientific conflict archaeological research of "Durchgangslager Hangö" and "Poetic Archaeology". The day included several stops including a radio interview, a short visit to Hanko to document a building associated with WW2, an interview with a 100-year old lady who had worked in a "Kantine" close to the German transition camp from 1942-1943 and finally a lecture at Karis Hembygdsförening in Raseborg.

Left picture from 1943 (SA-kuva) and on the right the same spot photographed yesterday 28.3.2017.

During the day I met many people who were interested in our project and especially the upcoming exhibitions in 2017 in Helsinki and in 2018 in Hanko. Needless to say I was quite exhausted by the time I got back home to Helsinki in the evening but the day was well worth it.

The high point of the day waswithout doubt the interview with the 100-year old lady in Turku. Despite her old age she had very vivid memories from her time in Hanko and the German soldiers who visited the "Kantine" in Hanko. Before her time in Hanko she worked in another "Kantine", this one close to the WW2 German transition camp called "Little Berlin" in Turku S. Finland.

The German transition camp called Little Berlin ("Pikku Berliini") in Turku (picture from 1950).

Before I went to sleep I checked my email and got more important news that adds to my doctoral dissertation in the shape of an eyewitness account from a Finnish diver who worked in Hanko harbour in the winter of 1942. There he witnessed the very harsh misbehaviour of German soldiers towards imprisoned (fellow) German soldiers (one of them probably didn´t survive the treatment) before beeing transferred to an awaiting German troop carrier. The imprisoned German soldiers had been brought to Hanko harbor by train (from the north?). A very sinister and disturbing story indeed...

German troop carrier in Hanko harbour in the winter of 1942. SA-kuva.

Tomorrow it´s time for a lecture at the research seminar (University of Helsinki dpt of Archaeology). It will be nice to meet fellow doctoral students and discuss many different aspects surrounding the conflict archaeology of the WW2 trasition camp in Hanko S. Finland

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