28 December 1937 – Finnish Expats

Today is a busy day on the execution front, thanks largely to Stalin.

In a KGB killing fest, skilled foreigners, who’d originally been drafted in to help Stalin strengthen Russia, met their deaths.

After Stalin had taken control of the country by fair means and foul, he’d embarked on his five-year plan – this comprised rigorous farming quotas and enlisting skilled labourers among other things. Where there was a skills shortage he looked elsewhere.

Canada and America happened to have a wealth of Finnish expats who’d settled across the Pond. But they were easily seduced by Communism and the lure of an egalitarian society where they could help make a difference.

And they did for a while until the very leader who had welcomed them into Russia turned on them.

For Stalin was getting paranoid. Party members were starting to vote against him and no wonder. His reforms for the greater good were relentless and they claimed the lives of many.

With waning popularity and the irresitible rise of right-wing Fascism rife throughout the rest of Europe, he began to hunker down.

Foreigners bore the brunt of his genocide. This included 141 Finnish expats.

In 1937, Samuel Ivanovich (Juho) Eskola, August Olavich (Olavi) Hakkarainen and Andrew Osvaldovich Hannula were three of many to face a firing squad. Exactly one year later Evert Stepanovich (Teppo) Helin and Karl (Kalle) Karlovich Huuki met exactly the same fate among others.

Of course, Stalin didn’t stop there. Millions were deemed to be expendable in the Russian purges – sentences ranged from hard labour, to deportation and death.

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