Antti Vanhoja

Born in 1992 in Miehikkälä, Finland
High school Student (“Hamina High School“)

"The construction works of the "Salpa" line in Kylmälä 1940-41" (2010)

Around the small village of Kylmälä, in the south-east of Finland goes the Salpa Line (salpa asema), a fortification wall built between 1940 and 1941 to protect Finland’s new borders from Russia. The author documents what life was like in Kylmälä, the village where his grandfather still lives today, by interviewing him and other locals that were involved in the heavy work and by accessing a nearby  history archive. The picture of this region during the war differs dramatically from the one today. In the past it attracted a huge number of people (soldiers, women of a paramilitary organisation and construction workers) that came to build a new defensive line for Finland and that also chose to settle down here. Seventy years after, Kylmälä has only 30 permanently occupied houses and is inhabited mostly by senior citizens. The nineteen bunkers, the almost 5 km of trenches and the tank obstacle stones are nevertheless witnesses to the bursting life from the past and the efforts which were done to keep Finland independent.


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