The Great Patriotic War ended several years later and Juvven returned to Moscow with hundred-thousands of other former soldiers and got civilian papers. Nobody looked at him askance as many ex-soldiers from remote tribes could only give vague descriptions of their home address. He gave the name of his Russian Saami hosts as his ‘parents’. During his conscription, whenever possible he sent money to them and they bought useful basics like soap, grain and oil and forward it to his real parents in Finland. It wold have been easier to send money, but the Ruble was not a free currency. Sporadic letters of his family reached him, and he read between the lines how his parents needed his support as life was hard in depredated Finland.
He could help …show more content…
Juvven looked up from the game of chess he was playing. “Yes?”
“The commandant wants …show more content…
Some former guards without doing wrong were taken into custody for misdeeds other family members had allegedly committed. The pitying eyes of the other guards followed him as he left the barrack and followed the secretary with a stiff gait. Too soon he reached the commandant’s office. Instead of a unit of soldiers waiting to detain him only the secretary stood at attention next to Juvven. A tiny glimmer of hope flickered in his brain.
The commandant looked up when the secretary announced them.
“Ah, yes. Comrade Aalto.” He reached to a letter on a pile. “You have been with the 62nd in Stalingrad under Major General Rodimtsev?”
“Yes comrade commandant.”
“And you have distinguished yourself as a sniper?”
Questions raced through Juvven’s confused mind, but he answered in a calm voice.
“Yes, comrade commandant.”
The eyebrows of the officer rose as he looked Juvven up and down.
“I have here an order from our National Olympic Committee. You are to present yourself in their headquarters in Moscow to become an athlete in your specialty: shooting. The USSR will send a complete team to the Olympics in Helsinki next summer. You will depart with the next train.” The commandant stood up and offered his hand. In a stupor, Juvven shook it, too shocked to reply. “Congratulations, comrade Aalto. It is an honor to represent the USSR. Make us