Association for Cherishing the Memory of the Dead of the War
The association was founded in 1998, in order to continue the work previously carried out by the Ministry of Education. The task of the association is cherishing the memory of the fallen soldiers in the annexed territory (also known as Eastern Karelia), meaning the territory that was handed over to the Soviet Union as a result of the Second World War. This kind of an activity became possible by the treaty between Finland and Russia in 1992.
The cherishing work in practice is searching and bringing back remains of Finnish soldiers from the battlefields currently located in Russia. The identification of the dead and their burial in their homeground is the main goal of the work. At the moment, the remains of 1175 Finnish soldiers have been found. Of these, the identities of 363 soldiers have been solved. During the wars between 1939 and 1945 were approximately 13 000 Finnish soldiers either lost on the battlefields or reported missing.
Another field of activity is the restoring and maintenance of seven field graveyards in the annexed territory. These were founded during the war and are today a final resting place for nearly 900 Finnish war heroes. Later, a monument has been raised on each of these graveyards (Säkkijärvi, Viipuri, Summa, Äyräpää, Taipaleenjoki, Kollaa and Tuulos).
During the wars of 1939 - 1945, about 4 000 Finnish soldiers were captured as prisoners of war. Of them, a little more than 2 100 were able to return to Finland after the war. It has been confirmed that 760 soldiers perished during their captivity. The destiny of the others is still unknown. Five monuments have been raised in the locations of the former warprisoners camps for those who perished there (Tsherepovets, Hatsina, Karaganda, Oranki and Asbest).
The cherishing work of the association is voluntary and supported economically by the Government of Finland.