An article from War2War: Lotta Svärd

An article from War2War: Lotta Svärd

Lotta Svärd was created during the Finnish civil war 1918 as a female auxiliary force who supported the white side against communist and Russians. The name is from the famous book about the war between Sweden and Russia 1808-1809 called “Fänrik Ståls sägner” ore in English, “The Tales of Ensign Stål”. One of the characters in the book is Lotta Svärd, a woman who help wounded soldier at the battlefield. However, svärd means sword on Swedish. A member in the organizations was called “lotta”. The lottas work at hospitals, taking care of children who lost their parents, supported the army as drivers, telegraphists, and clerks and cooked the soldier’s food. Some women were member in antiaircraft battery 1944. Fanny Luukkonen 1882-1947 was the leader for the organization from 1929 until the end 1944.
In 1939 the organization was 100 000 women strong in the end of the war 1944 over 240 000 Finnish women was member in Lotta Svärd. 66 members were killed near the front, 47 in air raids and 34 in accidents. When peace was concluded between the Soviet Union and Finland, the organization was banned.
Finnish Volunteer Battalion of the Waffen-SS hade some Finnish nurses in their service as “SS-Helferinen”.

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