WWII was exceptionally harsh for the people of the border region
As residents of the border region, the experience of WWII was particularly harsh for the Kuusamo inhabitants: young men fighting on the fronts, women in maintenance duties, people on the home front doing public works under emergency conditions. Civilians – children, the young, women, and the aged – became war refugees first after the outbreak of the Winter War in November 1939, and again in September 1944, at the beginning of the Lapland War. Returning home for the second time, the evacuees were faced with war-torn country where most of the housing had been destroyed, and one-fifth of the land had been ceded to the Soviet Union in the peace treaty. The parish war heroes’ memorial plaque has 448 names from the war years of 1939-1944, and a large number of children died on the evacuation journey.