Maria Vaganova

Picture of Maria Vaganova

Age: 87

Place of birth: Medvezhyegorsk

Citizenship: Russia


Maria Ivanovna Vaganova (1928), a veteran, was born in Medvezhyegorsk, Republic of Karelia. His father worked at the sawmill. His mother was a homemaker. Besides her parents Mary had two sons and three daughters. We lived very poorly. When the war started, Maria was thirteen years old.

In 1941, the evacuation of the population from the border regions of Karelia, and Vaganova family had to leave their hometown. All things had to leave and go Medvezhyegorsk light, as the evacuation took place in difficult winter conditions and in a short time. In the village Bykovo they were in occupation. The village was small, a few houses, a lot of evacuees. Finnish military were forced to work, and children and adults. Things quickly worn out, all went to the rags. They worked day and night, fed badly, people starved, livestock took the Finns. For Maria Ivanovna survive this time was the hardest.

In 1943, when Mary was fifteen, her mother died, tore at work in the field. The elder brother, who had served in the army, was killed, and on the shoulders of the girl of fifteen went to the care of younger siblings. They lived from hand to mouth, they did all eat, that more or less godilos food and that could be found in the nearby forest. Most of the berries and mushrooms that could gather up, picked up the Finnish soldiers. Occupants ignored all requests and complaints of hunger. The exception was not even young children and the elderly. Relief was nowhere to wait, therefore, rely only on themselves. Leaving the village is strictly forbidden everywhere stood guard.

Maria Ivanovna recalls that when the occupation ended, all the people are very afraid that their chase after the retreating Finns. She and the other girls managed to escape from the village.

After the war it became a little easier. With the war returned to his father, but soon hunger and wounds received in the war and he died. Mary and those who survived returned to Medvezhyegorsk, but at home as well as property, no longer existed. Everything was destroyed. In 1946, Maria got a job to the post office where she worked for a lifetime.

After the war, those who were held in the village of Finns, were equal to the prisoners of German concentration camps.

The brutality of the occupiers will remain forever in the memory of Maria Ivanovna. Even now, when Finland provides financial assistance to her, in compensation for the actions of its soldiers during the Second World War, Maria can not change their attitude to the Finnish people.