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Death and Repatriation

Last week I started work on texts for the "Hanko 1941" temporary theme exhibition for Hanko Front Museum.

The exhibition "Death and Repatriation - Ethical WW2 Conflict Archaeology of Soviet War Graves on the Hanko Front" focuses on the advantages of adapting scientific methods in the repatriation of war dead.

Soviet soldiers mourning a fallen comerade. Photo Harry Bett History WWII Eastern Front.


It deals with issues concerning ethics and methods of WW2 war grave documentation and exhumations in general by using the 2017-2019 excavation of 7 Soviet soldiers in Hanko, Tvärminne as an example.

The Tvärminne Graves before and after beeing disturbed by advancing forest clearing. Photo Jan Fast 2017 and 2019.


Special attention is paid to the question of the forensic documentation and, in this particular case, the importance of seemingly unimportant small finds on the bodies of the deceased for the identification process.

Conserved items from one of the graves. Photo Jarno Huusko (Metropolia University of Applied Sciences) 2020.


The excavations were carried out in 2017-2019 in correspondance with ethical and other guidelines within the EU and in close co-operation with the Russian Embassy in Finland and "Sotavainajien Muiston Vaalimisyhdistys ry".


Check the Hanko Front Museum webpage for updates on opening hours this summer!


https://www.frontmuseum.fi/eng/engstart/

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Finnish troops attacking a Soviet held island in the Hanko archipelago in the summer of 1941. Photo SA-Kuva.

© 2020 by MA Jan Fast 

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