ROVANIEMI. For a long time after the WWII, stories about intimate relations between German soldiers and Finnish women was a taboo in Finland. Around 200 000 German soldiers were stationed in northern Finland, and as Finland and Germany were brothers in arms, contacts between the foreign soldiers and locals were inevitable. When Finland and Soviet became allies in 1944, the Germans suddenly became enemies and were forced to leave the country during the Lapland War.
Katja Kettus novel Kätilö [The Midwife] tells about the passionate, but in the end impossible, love story between a Finnish midwife and a Nazi officer during the war. It got the prestigious Runeberg award in 2012. The language was praised as fleshy, earthy, meaty. A Swedish translation was released earlier this year [Barnmorskan].
Cover: Katja Kettu. Photo: Ofer Amir