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To the Bomb and Back: Finnish War Children Tell Their World War II Stories

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To the Bomb and Back

Finnish War Children Tell Their World War II Stories

Edited by Sue Saffle
Foreword by Kai Rosnell

326 pages, 28 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78238-658-2 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (June 2015)

ISBN  978-1-78920-516-9 $34.95/£27.95 Pb Published (February 2020)

eISBN 978-1-78238-659-9 eBook

Hb Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $34.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“…a fine collection… The book is affecting, to be read a little at a time. You won't forget it afterwards.” · Finnish American Cultural Activities.

“Over a number of years, Sue Saffle has earned the respect of the war children in Finland and Sweden… to such an extent that she has been able to tap into a great source of social and war history. In addition, for many who contributed to the research, [this book] has the added element of being a form of personal catharsis. This is an excellent book which will add a great deal to the academic study of war children past and present.” · Martin Parsons, University of Reading


Between 1939 and 1945, some 80,000 Finnish children were sent to Sweden, Denmark, and elsewhere, ostensibly to protect them from danger while their nation’s soldiers fought superior Soviet and German forces. This was the largest of all of World War II children’s transports, and although acknowledged today as “a great social-historical mistake,” it has received surprisingly little attention. This is the first English-language account of Finland’s war children and their experiences, told through the survivors’ own words. Supported by an extensive introduction, a bibliography of secondary sources, and over two dozen photographs, this book testifies to the often-lifelong traumas endured by youthful survivors of war.

Sue Saffle holds a Senior Instructorship in Virginia Tech’s Department of English. She is a winner of VT’s University Sporn Award for outstanding teaching and was inducted into the institution’s Academy of Teaching Excellence. In 2000–2001 she lived in Helsinki, where she began collecting the stories of Finland’s war children. Her articles about them have appeared in the journal Children and War and in the collection Children: The Invisible Victims of War (2008).

Subject: Memory Studies
Area: Northern Europe


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