Deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the Karelo-Finnish SSR


    The city of Viipuri (Vyborg) is a young Soviet city among other cities of the Karelo-Finnish SSR.

    A year ago, our valiant Red Army, defending the security of the city of Lenin and the northwestern borders of the great Soviet Union, stormed Viipuri.

    When departing from the city, the White Finns, in furious rage, destroyed everything on their way. At the exit all means were taken : explosions, arsons, the destruction of all installations without which the normal life is unthinkable in the city. As a result of these barbarous actions of the White Finns, the city of Viipuri suffered most severely in comparison with other cities of the Karelian Isthmus. There was not a single apartment house, not one factory and mill, not a single branch of the economy, which would not have been destroyed to some extent.

    More than one third of the city was burnt. From the houses and industrial enterprises located on this territory there were only chimneys, foundations and ruins in some places, reminding that here there were some installations.

    There was not a single apartment building in the city where the central heating, water supply, sewerage, gas and electric lighting were not put out. In a number of buildings, in the  chimneys, the retreating White Finns left mines. The bridges were blown up. The equipment of water pump stations were disabled. The other water pump station, which is the main source of water supply to the city, was completely destroyed. All the electric power and electrical equipment of the city were brought to an unfit state, and the power station was blown up.

    At the gas plant, the gasometer and other structures were blown up, and the gas network was rendered unusable. The tramway was also completely destroyed.

    All industrial enterprises with their equipment were destroyed or burned. Also, the buildings of cultural institutions - schools, hospitals, cinemas and so on - have been severely damaged.

    The enemies believed that after their departure the city would not soon heal back to a normal life, that it would take a long time to restore it. To this end, in addition to the destruction, they destroyed or carried away all the technical documentation: plans, drawings, explanatory notes, etc.

     Caption:         Ancient Swedish fortress in the city of Viipuri.
    Until recently, the Finnish imperialists stalkily portrayed this fortress on their arms, seals and banners, as a symbol of the constant threat to our country. Now tourists coming to the Soviet Viipuri, with curiosity, inspect the gloomy monument of the Middle Ages and admire from its high walls a handsome-city living a new, creative and creative life.

    The war was over. Peace time has come. Soviet people came to Viipuri. They brought with them the experience of Soviet construction. The Party and non-Party Bolsheviks set themselves the task of rebuilding all urban economy, industry, organizing commerce, opening canteens, cinemas, theaters, schools, hospitals, kindergartens, nurseries, etc., in the shortest possible time.

    The political activity of the urban population has risen high. By decision of the Sixth Session of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, the Karelian ASSR was transformed into the Union Karelian-Finnish Soviet Socialist Republic. Workers of Mr. Viipuri actively, with exceptional enthusiasm, conducted elections of deputies to the Supreme Soviets of the USSR and the Karelian-Finnish SSR, to the City Council of Working People's Deputies. These elections were a powerful demonstration of the moral and political unity of the Soviet people.

    Soviet people showed high models of socialist work. In a short period of time, almost
all industrial enterprises and a large number of residential buildings were restored; the city received water, electricity, gas; trams and buses run, schools, clubs, theater, cinema, library, kindergartens and day nurseries work normally. The transportation was restored, mail, telegraph, radio and telephone work. The city has begun to live a new, Soviet life.

    To restore the Viipuri was a huge work done. It should be noted that the city, in essence, was created again. All urban economy and industry were more or less separated from each other. Their existence was not welded into a single organic whole, into a single complex of the national economic plan. At present, the city economy has entered a new period of its development. Even during the organization of departments under the Provisional Directorate, measures were taken to combine the work of all types of utilities and various amenities into a single urban economy, governed by generally agreed principles. At the same time, prospects and prerequisites for coordinating the work of the city economy with industrial enterprises appeared. Very different forms of economic organization were created, sharply differing in essence from the capitalist forms.

    Under Soviet conditions, the city economy of Viipuri was an integral part of the socialist sector, the state of which predetermined the general pace and development of the city.

    To restore the housing stock in 1940 there were 11.050 thousand rubles released. Special construction organizations were created, as a result of the seven-month work of which 2,062 residential buildings were rebuilt and populated, and in 212 houses with central heating the boiler installation was repaired.

    Restoration of the heating system was not easy. In the beginning, it even seemed that due to the variety of heating systems and lack of spare parts for replacement, and also because there was not a single drawing in the city that could locate the places of installation for the underground system, it would not be possible to completely restore the central heating. A lot of effort for this task was done by the builders of the Soviet Viipuri, among which it is necessary to mention such workers as engineers Comrades Kruglov and Goroshko, contractor Comr. Semenov, Stakhanovite workers Comrades Pavlov, Lebedev, Dolev and many others.

    A significant number of small residential houses are restored by the workers themselves. In the southern region, where everything was burned or destroyed, there are now more than 400 houses with a population of 5,000 people.

    An exceptionally large amount of work has been done to restore the city's electric facilities. Restored were 120 transforming stations, 92 km of cable and 96.8 km of aerial wires were laid.

    At present, over 3,000 apartments and 422 public organizations use the current. There are 1,030 street lamp posts in the city. As for the city's water supply, a lot has been done. In the water supply network with a length of 80 km all three water-pumping stations are put in order. The supply of water to the city reaches 170 thousand cubic meters per month.

    One of the great achievements in the restoration of urban enterprises should be considered the restoration and commissioning of the gas plant. According to the specialists' opinion, a period of 2-3 years was planned for the restoration of the gas plant. It was necessary to rebuild the gas gathering chamber, gas container, plant communications, etc. The workers and engineering and technical staff of the gas plant made every effort to restore the installation, and four months later the plant was put into operation. Consumers of gas are 24 residential houses, a bakery and a confectionery factory.

    No less successful work was carried out to restore the tram service. On August 22, the tramway was put into operation. Totally restored 15 km of tracks, repaired 15 motor and 8 trailer cars. At present, measures are being taken to fully restore all other track facilities and the rolling stock.

    In Viipuri, after the retreat of the White Finns, all schools were destroyed, while the increase in the number of school-age children forced in 1940 to open ten secondary, lower level secondary and primary schools. However, for the growing youth of the Soviet city these schools were not enough: the schools are working in two shifts.

    A kindergarten has been opened in the city and the House of Pioneers and schoolchildren is being prepared for the opening. In addition, the city has a pedagogical and vocational school, the FZO [fabric-run vocational]  school and the Naval School of Economics. This year the network of secondary schools and schools will be expanded.

    To restore the hospital facilities extremely much is done. Here, as in a number of other branches of the municipal economy, the destruction was quite significant. The City Hospital was especially damaged. Of the nine pavilions, seven had major destruction. The main building of the hospital was severely damaged, communications were undermined and out of order. All this has now been restored.

    The city has a new outfit that provides medical care for all types of diseases. Now work is under way to restore the hospital town on Patterinmauml;ki, where a number of hospital facilities will be located. On the basis of this hospital town will be a paramedic-midwifery and dentistry school.

    In the city, there are organized and opened nurseries, children's consultancy and dairy kitchen.

    All this speaks of how the Soviet government tirelessly cares about the health of the working masses.

    At disposal for the population there are several cultural institutions. Two cinemas, a state drama theater, a public library, clubs, the House of Party Education, the House of the Red Army, etc. are open in the city. The working people of the city actively visit these institutions.

    In the houses of the ruined city it was quite difficult to immediately organize a system of stores and public catering. Nevertheless, at the moment 113 shops, 44 stalls, 29 dining rooms, 2 restaurants, 39 buffets and 7 wholesale bases are open in the city. Turnover for the IV quarter of 1940 was 40 million rubles.

    The Viipuri railway junction, as a result of the war, appeared to be very badly damaged: tracks, bridges, a locomotive depot, etc., were blown up, burned or damaged to a significant extent. Soviet railwaymen received a government task to restore the entire farm of the hub as soon as possible. And they coped with this task. The railway junction was the first enterprise put into operation.

    A particular mention should be made of the work to restore communications. When leaving the city, the White Finns destroyed all city communications, burnt out the city telephone exchange, took out the telegraph equipment, and destroyed the building. Cable installations were severely damaged, the radio station was destroyed. However, all this was soon restored. Currently, the city of Viipuri is connected with all the cities of the great Soviet Union, has well-established telephone and radio communications, operates mail, telegraph. The equipment that was brought down and destroyed was replaced by domestic equipment and is running smoothly.

    Along with the restoration of urban economy, special attention was paid to the restoration of industry. Of the 23 enterprises, 18 were restored in 1940, of 18 of enterprises 9, including roofing, soap, brewery, tobacco factory, printing press, three confectionery factories and a ship repair plant, were put into operation ahead of schedule.

    In 1940, your industrial enterprises, after their restoration, gave a production of 10.2 million. rub. (at unaltered prices in 1926-27) to the state.

    The production of our industrial enterprises go far over the boundaries of the city of Viipuri. The tobacco factory, which produces 38.5 million pieces of cigarettes, satisfies not only their own market, but also the demand of other cities. The soap factory produces 24 tons of toilet soap, 20 tons of household soap and 14.5 tons of candles per month; The plant satisfies a number of cities of the Soviet Union with its products.

    Viipuri became one of the largest cities of the Karelo-Finnish SSR. In the city there are about 50 thousand inhabitants. For 1941, a lot of restoration work is planned. Stakhanovite construction workers and engineering personnel took upon themselves the honor to fulfill this task with honor.

    In the new Soviet city, new forms of labor are widely unfolding - socialist competition and the Stakhanovite movement. Viipuri turns into an authentic Soviet city.

    All these significant successes were achieved by the Viipuri builders under the leadership of the Central Committee of the Communist Party (Bolsheviks) and the Council of People's Commissars of the Karelo-Finnish SSR, as a result of the daily assistance of the Leningrad Bolsheviks, led by their glorious leader Comr. Zhdanov and fatherly concern about our city, manifested by the great Stalin.

Google assisted translation from Russian by Pauli Kruhse.

Viipuri, as well as other Finnish cities, were subjected to several air raids during the Winter War (30 Nov 1939 - 13 March 1940). When the Red Army was able to make advances, Viipuri was also bombarded by long range railway cannons, which people called as 'ghost cannons' because no gunshot sounds were heard and the high speed projectiles gave no warning before exploding at random targets.

Map of the city indicating sites of dropped aerial bombs and gun projectiles up to mid-February 1940 from the book Koponen, Emil & Viitanen, Eero: Viipurin viimeiset päivät : asiakirjojen ja omien kokemusten perusteella kuvattuna. WSOY, 1940, by Emil Koponen and Eero Viitanen. Published in Swedish as Viborgs sista dagar : skildrade på grundvalen av dokument och egna erfarenheter. Fahlcrantz & Gumaelius. Stockholm, 1941.

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