Release of new book on Finnish war stories – chapter on Tom of Finland

Sata sotakohtaloa
Toimittanut John Lagerbohm

Kirja on läpileikkaus suomalaisista sotakohtaloista – rivimiehestä Rytiin, sotaorvosta Siperian vankiin

It is a book of fear, death, grief and trauma but also one of survival and happy endings. It makes the memories of the war personal and understandable.

The essay on Tom of Finland (Lieutenant Touko Laaksonen) is by Lamppu Laamanen, author and publisher.

“After the Winter War on March 26th my generation got drafted and April 6th 1940 I stepped in line of duty in the Finnish  army.” This is what Touko Valio Laaksonen (1920-1991), Tom of Finland, writes in his diary.  He is  most likely the best known Finnish artist internationally.

Image with essay on Tom, he is far right.

About the next event he talks only to a few and in passing. A founding member and the President of Tom of Finland Foundation, Durk Dehner hears it between the two of them once and twice in the presence of a few others.

Tom is always drunk when he tells the story but he doesn`t share it too much; broken into pieces it could relieve his guilt which has to stay intact as long as he lives.

Even in his homecountry he tells the story very sparingly. Kenneth Wickman is in his twenties when carriying out Toms errands during his last two years. Wiki is one of those, if not the only one, who gets to hear the story in Finland.

It is night and the end of August in Viipurinlahti, Carelia, in the year 1944. Lieutenant Laaksonen is alone in the dark forest and almost stumbles upon a Russian who is assembling his parachute. Laaksonen sticks his bonehafted sheathknife in the soldiers back. The next morning he returns to the body, turns it around and on seeing the young soldiers face falls upon his knees spluttering and starts to cry.

The man is divinely beautiful. “I had seen the likes of him only in my dreams.”

At the same moment Lieutenant Laaksonen understands that he is responsible for destroying life and its beauty and swears that nothing like it will ever happen again. In the last days of the war he sends every bullet of his, past a human being on purpose.

Translation from the Finnish by Anne Nahls

Teoksessa on merkittävä rooli myös arvostettujen ja tunnettujen suomalaisten henkilökohtaisilla, heille tärkeään sotakohtaloon liittyvillä kirjoituksilla. Omakohtaiset kokemukset tuovat sodan muistot lähelle ja ymmärrettäviksi.

Book details:
About 210 pages / 235 x 225 mm / 92.73 / B & W stock
Language, Finnish
978-951-25644-1

This Otava book can conveniently be purchased online.

 

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