keskiviikko 22. elokuuta 2012

Raportoitua nälänhätää 1900-luvulla

The Minneapolis journal 2.4.1903:

"Dr. Klopsch, with the Christian Herald Finland relief expedition, to-day crossed the Swedish frontier from Tornea. Finland, to this place, having driven from Uleaborg by sledges.
"Throughout the entire journey of the expedition, from Helsingfors to Tornea on the Finnish boundary line, its progress was marked by extraordinary popular demonstrations, the people welcoming the travelers with song, oratory, poetry, and tributes of beautiful flowers, to express their heartfelt appreciation of the generosity of the American people, in helping Finland in her time of need. At Tornea, their arrival was made the occasion of a public holiday. All the schools were closed, and the whole populace gathered at the city hall and enthusiastically welcomed the expedition
"In three weeks the expedition has traversed the greater part of northern Finland by sledges, including Kuopio, Idensalmi, Kajana. Suomussalmi, and practically every important center of distress north and east of Helsingfors, being the first part of Americans who have ever journeyed through northern or eastern Finland in winter.
"Notwithstanding official claims that the situation is well in hand, the expedition reports that the famine throughout Finland is gradually increasing in intensity and extent. Present conditions fully corroborate all previously published accounts. Even as far south as the sixtysecond degree, at Idensalmi. the most appalling conditions prevail. Hundreds of children are begging bread from house to house. Scarlet fever and measles are epidemic. Eight hundred deaths have occurred in the district.
"A single church parish reports that 5,000 are absolutely destitute, and have been subsisting solely on 'hunger-bread' since October. Meat, milk and potatoes are utterly lacking throughout the whole famine area. Thousands are barefooted and clothed in rags, while the ground is covered by deep snow. The suffering and want are beyond description. In the Kajani and Uleaborg districts, the conditions are worst of all.
"At least 100.000 Finlanders are wholly dependent on relief at the present moment. Half the cattle are dead, and the reports of human deaths by starvation are persistent. The American contributions, exceeding $125,000, have unquestionably averted a large mortality.
"The worst will come in April and May, when the spring thaws will render many of the sufferers inaccessible, even by snowshoes. Finland's gratitude for American help is universal."

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