University of Oulu

Tuuli Matila (2020) The ghosts in the archive: World War Two photography and landscapes crafted by the Nazis in Finland, Time and Mind, 13:4, 351-371, DOI: 10.1080/1751696X.2020.1825658

The ghosts in the archive : World War Two photography and landscapes crafted by the Nazis in Finland

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Author: Matila, Tuuli1
Organizations: 1Department of Humanities, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Informa, 2020
Publish Date: 2022-05-25


The Finnish wartime landscape was altered by Nazi troops who were stationed there during World War Two. This paper examines wartime sceneries through Finnish Army Information Company’s photographs from the period of the war known in Finland as the Continuation War (1941–1944). The images reveal a completely different side to the Nazi co-belligerence to what is traditionally acknowledged in Finland. I discuss the ways the Nazi troops altered the Finnish landscape, adding ‘German-ness’ to their surroundings and more specifically, how Nazi ideology manifested in the northern Finnish landscapes. The Finns have been completely oblivious to the symbolic messages the Nazis crafted in their surroundings. Photographs as haunting representation addresses in this paper both the difficult memory of German presence that frames these pictures and the specific potency of these photographic encounters. Haunting as a theory deals with the evocative ways an image can convey information about the past.

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Series: Time & mind
ISSN: 1751-696X
ISSN-E: 1751-6978
ISSN-L: 1751-696X
Volume: 13
Issue: 4
Pages: 351 - 371
DOI: 10.1080/1751696X.2020.1825658
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 615 History and archaeology
Funding: This work has been supported by the Finnish Cultural Foundation under grant 00160458 and the Academy of Finland, under grant [275497].
Copyright information: © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Time and Mind on 25 Nov 2020, available online: