Beyond “Those Eight”: Deportations of Jews from Finland 1941–1942

  • Oula Silvennoinen
Part of the The Holocaust and its Contexts book series (HOLC)


In the chilly early morning hours of November 6, 1942, the German transport vessel Hohenhörn left Helsinki harbor bound for Tallinn, Estonia. On board was a group of twenty-seven civilians, all foreigners being deported from Finland. Most were Estonians repatriated either forcibly or voluntarily to their German-occupied homeland. The group also included eight persons registered as Jews: five men, all of whom had been issued deportation orders, and the family members of two of them. The youngest deportee was a child of less than two years of age. As the eight sailed from Finland, Jews from neighboring Norway were already being murdered in the Third Reich’s concentration and extermination camps, having been deported en masse during the preceding summer. It seemed that the hour had struck for the small Jewish minorities of the Scandinavian countries. While the Jews of Sweden were still beyond the reach of the Nazi regime, the Jews of occupied Denmark were in the immediate danger zone. Were the Jews in Finland next in line? Only one of the eight Jews aboard the Hohenhörn survived the war; amid press clamor and much public talk, “those eight” have become a figure of speech in Finnish historiography and public knowledge, the very symbol and measure of Finland’s involvement in the Holocaust.


State Police Provincial Government Foreign Affair Residence Permit Nazi Regime 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2013

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  • Oula Silvennoinen

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