|Interview of Chekalova Anna Petrovna, born 1928 in Ladva Village of Prionezhsky region, during the war lived in Petrozavodsk|
There were nine people in the family. The father was a worker, the mother – a housewife. Only father was interested in politics. The family subscribed to only one newspaper seemed to be "Leninskaya Pravda". There was a radio (big black loudspeaker) and they listened to it. Often on Saturdays she with her brother and sister went to the Deaf-and-dumb Society (one of their sisters worked and lived there) to see the films with subtitles. Very seldom they went to the "Zvezdochka" cinema theatre. At that time there were no special politics information before to film.
Interest to politics at that time was mach less the now. Only sometime the parents discussed at home the events in the country.
I knew that the Finnish border was close to Leningrad and that Finland became independent due to V. Lenin. Had no information that the Northern Karelia was proposed to Finland in exchange.
I learned about the beginning of the "Winter War" from parents at home. As I did not understand what is the war, I had no fear. Though the parent and neighbors were worried.
As far as I know the war was started by the Soviet Union, but does not remember how they explained the cause.
The weather was not supporting the war. The frosts were 40C and lower. At such frosts we did not went to school.
The town lived its usual life. But there appeared many military people and queues for the products. Also appeared few stands with the war information.
Most schools and some other public plases were used as hospitals. We regurarly wisited the hospital that was opened in the school N 13 on Krupskaya street. The were lot of injured, mainly frost-bitten and many burnt tanksman.
It seemed that many of them die. The impressions from those visits were very oppressive. We play concerts to the injured. They were treated very well – the linen was very clear, there were enough medicines and bandages. They were fed very well.
We did not get "Fallen in battle" letters as no one of the family participated in the war, but some of our acquaintance got them.
The food supply had changed. One had to stay in the queues for everything. The mother had to go to work – she washed the working robes of the shop-girls and that made family life somewhat easier.
Cannot say anything about any public works. Had not heard anything about evacuation and had not met anyone evacuated.
We learned about the events at the front mainly from radio, sometimes at school and during visits to the hospital.
The losses in our army were very big and I got the impression that the Finns were mach better prepared to the war.
The soldiers said that Finnish snipers (also called "Cuckoos") were very well equipped and were very neat. Some of them were women and that was very unexpected.
Before the war in our yard lived people of different nationalities, including Finns that came from America. Everybody lived very friendly; we play different games (lapta, hide-n-seek, billiard, etc.) in which both children and grown-ups participated. I do not remember any conflicts among grown-ups and the children were all equal.
Finns were treated as equal. Everybody counted that there were no their guilt in the war.
© Raatteen Portti, 2002–2004
© Karelian Institute for the Development of Education, 2002–2004
© Heninen.net, 2002–2019