100 years ago in Haparanda

Worried mother and children at the outbreak of war. Photo Kenneth Mikko


School teacher explaining the war situation to the public in Haparanda. Photo Kenneth Mikko

HAPARANDA. 100 years ago came the outbreak of the FirstWorld War. To sleepy border towns Haparanda and Tornio it meant a very dramatic awakening. The war front went through Central Europe, which meant that exchange of people, post and goods had to find new routes – around the Baltic Sea. During the war years of 1914 – 1918 enormous amounts of people and goods passed the Swedish-Finnish border. Invalids, refugees, smugglers, spies, revolutionaries and businessmen of all kinds could suddenly be found in Haparanda and Tornio. Lenin came this way to make revolution in Petrograd, and anarchist Krapotkin could be recogniized among the travellers at the railway station.

Local horsemen waiting for customers. Photo Kenneth Mikko


Local photographer Mia Green documented The First World War. Her photos are nowadays widespread. Photo Kenneth Mikko

100 years after the war, Haparanda remembers these times. In early August, theatre, exhibitions. lectures and festivities were arranged to recollect the dramatic history. The initiative came from Sara Frykman, who was born and raised in Haparanda and has published history works about the border town. The project idea is that the whole war period should be dramatized annually until 2018.

Outdoor fashion show in the yard of trading house Hermansons in Haparanda. Photo Kenneth Mikko


A Russian officer is taken away from a rendezvous at Haparanda city hotel. It was forbidden for Russian militaries to cross the border. Photo Kenneth Mikko


Cover: Lady celebrating at Haparanda city hotel during the turbulating years of WW1. Photo by Kenneth Mikko.



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