Thursday 18 July 2019

"Durchgangslager Hanko" 2019 day thirteen and fourteen

Finally warm and sunny weather again. After locating Lotta Kantine Erika , today we started excavating two of the German dumps inside the "Entlausungsdorf area of the huge German transition camp.

Lotta Kantine Erika then and now.

No sign of the Finnish SS men so far but an intriguing amount of different types of finds. Tomorrow we will open up the third and last dump in this area. We will probably be busy excavating this until Friday afternoon. After that it´s time to pull out from Hanko for a well deserved summer holiday <3

Sadly our accomodation has very, very poor wifi but please join our conflict archaeology group on FB for more information n todays and other finds from these three fabulous weeks in Hanko!

Tuesday 16 July 2019

Excavating a possible dump of the Finnish SS Batallion

Finally we are as close as we can possibly get to the life of the Finnish SS men and the women from the Lotta Svärd organisation in "Durchgangslager Hanko". Two large dumps have now been discovered very close to the placWee of the "Baracke" were men from the Finnish SS Bataillon were housed in June and July of 1943. Today the exact spot of the "Lotta Kantine Erika" was finally discovered. We will start excavating both areas tomorrow morning!

We have been searching for the place of "Lotta Kantine Erika" since the start of the project in the spring of 2014. Finally it was not the finds that rather the lack of them that resulted in us managing to locate the excact spot were the "Kantine" once stood. Littered all around the cantine we found hundreds of beer bottle caps etc, but in the 30 m square (were the Kantine once stood) the floorboards had prevented finds to reach the ground level.

Finnish SS men after having changed to Finnish uniforms in "Durchgangslager Hanko" in 1943.

One theme of this years excavation of "Durchgangslager Hanko" was to try to find archaeological finds that relate to the prescence of the Finnish Waffen SS Bataillons time in the German tranistion camp. Yesterday one untouhed WW2 dump was found very close to the "Baracke" occupied by the Finnish SS men in July 1943 and tday another one! We will start excavations here tomorow morning!

The "Baracke" that was used by the men from the Finnish SS bataillon in July 1943. Two previously undiscovered dumps were found yesterday and today near the easternmost corner of this building that collapsed in the 1980´s.

Monday 15 July 2019

In search of the "Lottas" of the "Kantine Erika"

One would imagine it is easy to find traces of Lotta-Svärd activities in this remote and secluded area of the German transition camp but, as a matter of fact, it isn´t and this it what makes the search so interesting!

There were only a handfull of Finnish women running "Lotta Kantine Erika", a small  building just 6x6m:s in diameter, in the easternmost part of the "Durchgangslager" which was a daily temporary home for almost 4000 German soldiers stuck "In Transit" between home an the "Nordfront" between 1942 and 1944.

Three "Lottas" outside the cooking shelter of "Durchgangslager Hanko" in the summer of 1942 during the early construction phase of the large German transition camp.

We have tried to find the exact spot of the "Lotta Kantine" since the start of the project in 2014 but without success. Several finds point towards the prescence of many German soldiers in the area but we have found close to nothing that can be connected to the women (Finnish or German) working or stationed in the camp.

Finnish and German women in the German transition camp in 1943. Photo Jan Fast research collection.

Here are some pictures of a few of todays finds. An interesting dump site found close to the easternmost corner of one of the large barracks in the area might however provide a clue. This dump is situated just some 40 m:s from the area of the "Erika". 

Saturday 13 July 2019

Excavating "Durchgangslager Hanko". Day ten.

Friday was the last day of the 2nd leg of this years excavation. A very good week once again. After the excavation we paid a visit to the Hanko Front Museum and the Soviet war graves in Tvärminne.

A WW2 conflict archaeology excavation with a (sea) view.

Not that many finds today as we only excavated for a couple of hours before filling in this weeks excavation area. The sun was shining and we enjoyed every minute of this beautiful summers day <3.

Happy times excavating in Hanko.

Below are a few pictures of the "finds of the day". The Mauser cartridges are kept according to very strict Finnish laws. After today we have only one are to investigate this season, namely the area of "Lotta Kantine Erika" in the easternmost area of the large German camp.

Many interesting small finds again today!

After today we have only one are to investigate this season, namely the area of "Lotta Kantine Erika" in the easternmost area of the large German camp. 

JFA upcoming excavations in 2019!

"Durchgangslager Hanko" 1942-1944 

Gebirgsjäger Mützenabzeichen. Photo Teemu Väisänen.

German WW2 transition camp. Location Hanko Tulliniemi 15-19.7.2019. Arranger Hangö Sommaruniversitet. There is still room if you wish to particiate! Please contact for directions (you can register at the excavation site).

Lohja Kittiskoski E

Neolithic comb ceramic clay vessel. Photo National Board of Antiquities.

Excavation of a neolithic dwelling site. Location Lohja. Arranger Hiiden opisto. There are two spots left for the 24th and the 25th of August. Please register here

Kimitoön Telegrafberget 2

The mysterious building foundation of Telegrafberget 2. Photo Jan Fast.

Excavation of an optical telegraph station from the time of the Crimean war. Location Kemiönsaari. Arranger hembygdsforskarna i Kimitobygden. Register here

Raseborg Malmkulla

Autumn wonders @ Malmkulla. Photo Jan Fast.

Excavation of an early comb ceramic dwelling site. Location Karis SW Uusimaa. Arranger  Karis Hembygdsförening with funds granted by Svenska Kultursamfundet. Please register here

Kimitoön Ölmosviken

A large lte neolithic potsherd from the Ölmosviken site! Photo Jan Fast.

Trial excavation of a late neolithic (Kiukais culture) dwelling site. Location Kemiönsaari. Arranger Dragsfjärds Hembygdsförening. Please register here

Hanko 1941

Finnish soldiers at the Hanko front in he summer of 1941. Photo SA-kuva.

Battlfield archaeology weekend in september/early october (the exact date will be decided later depending on the pre-registrations/letters of interest). The excavation is made in co-operation with the Hanko Front Museum Location Hanko Lappvik. Please send letter of interest to

We dig it all. See you in the pit!

Thursday 11 July 2019

Excavating "Durchgangslager Hanko" day nine.

After a beautiful summers day yesterday we were back to normal again today with greyish skies and a little rain now and then. Always looking at the bright side the weather was almost perfect for excavating and we got a lot done. We also welcomed two new participants in our team :)

The extended team of week two in action.

Excavation area II produced some interesting finds again today but the find layer is slowly getting thinner and smaller in diameter. As the area was getting a bit too crowded we extended it a bit to the north and to the west.

The ghostly German baracks looming to the south of the excavation area.

Todays finds were mostly different types of German food ration cans, beer, wine and schnapps bottles but with lots and lots of small tems in between.

Wednesday 10 July 2019

Excavating "Durchgangslager Hanko" day eight!

The sun is back and the warm summer sea winds of Hanko. At least in July this place must have felt like paradise for the German soldiers staying in the camp 1942-1944.

Excavating the scenic beachfront of "Durchgangslager Hanko"

Todays excavation produced many interesting small artefacts. Delousing powder bags, quite a few coins (Finnish and German), medical and toothpaste tubes, glass honey jars, one 218 marked German food ration can etc. etc.

Lots of different WW2 items again today.

Today we also found another used German condom in this easternmost area of the "Durchgangslager". Even if this isn´t surprising, finds like this speak about intimate encounters between men and women on the eastern outskirts of the large German transition camp.

A used condom and Heer soldiers and DRK Schwestern outside Hanko (Casino) in 1943. Photo Jan Fast research collection. 

Tuesday 9 July 2019

Verliebt, verlobt...

Ein Feldwebel mit seiner Verlobten beim letzten Heimaturlaub im Herbst 1942.

Aber was ist passiert...

Vermisstes Verlobungsring aus "Durchgangslager Hanko"