February 2005 Happenings
Film, book signing to feature Karelian immigration Feb. 3
HANCOCK -- Varpu Lindström, co-editor of Karelian Exodus: Finnish Communities in North America and Soviet Karelia during the
Depression, will sign copies of the newly published book from 4 p.m. to 6
p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 3, at Finlandia University’s North Wind Books on Quincy
Street in Hancock. All are invited and refreshments will be served.
Also on Thursday, Feb. 3, a documentary film, produced and extensively researched by Lindström, will be shown at
6:30 p.m. at the Finnish-American Heritage Center (FAHC) Theatre. The film, Letters from
Karelia, follows the son of one Finnish-American immigrant to Karelia as he traces his lineage and discovers many of the people and places his father once knew. Lindström will be on hand to offer comments and lead discussion about the film.
Published by Aspasia Books, Inc., Karelian Exodus is a collection of articles on the emigration of Finnish Americans and Finnish Canadians to Soviet Karelia in the early 1930s, the reasons behind
it and the experiences in Karelia of those who left. Ronald Harpelle and Alexis Pogorelskin are also co-editors of the book.
The emigration of Finns and others from North America to Soviet Karelia began in the early 1920s. And by some estimates, as many as 10,000 persons left the United States and Canada for Soviet Karelia during the early 1930s. A complex variety of political, economic and ideological factors led to the emigration, including Soviet propaganda that described Soviet Russia as a land of promise.
Also at this event, FAHC will display an exhibit honoring the life of Mayme Sevander, who at age 11 emigrated with her family to Soviet
Karelia. Sevander -- a teacher, historian and writer -- chronicled the lives of American Finns who emigrated to Soviet Russia in the 1930s. Her father, Oscar Corgan, once an editor for the socialist Finnish-language newspaper
Tyomies, helped found the 1930s Karelian movement. Corgan was arrested by Soviet authorities in
1938 and was shot in prison. Sevander, who at one time lived in Hancock with her family, authored several books on the Karelian Exodus, including a trilogy that includes,
They Took My Father: A Story of Idealism and Betrayal, Red Exodus and
Of Soviet Bondage. Mayme Sevander passed away in 2003.
For additional information, please contact Jim Kurtti, FAHC director, at 906-487-7302.
Visit the Keweenaw Now discussion forums to comment
on this article.
Want to stay in the K-NOW? Don't miss out on the whole story. Find out how you can help.
Hire a Writing Pro
Does the writing on your Web site leave something to be desired? Thesis grammar getting you down? Find out how we can help.
Lure Our Readers to You
Our readers share your passion for the Keweenaw Peninsula. Lure them to
you through banners, sponsorships, and more.