Talk:Algoth Niska

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I created the following at Algot Niska by mistake, not finding this. Some of the information below is not in this article... should probably be incorporated into the article...

Algot Niska (1888 - 1954) was an adventurer, gentleman rogue, bootlegger and smuggler, who heroically helped Jews escape Nazi Germany through Estonia. His grandson, "Danny" ("Big D") Ilkka Lipsanen became a legendary entertainer.

Finland enacted prohibition 1919. After this Algot Niska was one of the most daring of smugglers of spiritus fortis. His last big haul 12 March 1930 ended in an arrest after police found 21 000 liters of spiritus fortis of the island of Sundskar. After that he lead a more sedentary life, nevertheless planning a round the world sailing trip to break the ennui.

During the Winter war, he served in the military intelligence services, under cover of the name Ernst Ovésen.

In 1938 Algot met up with an Austrian business man called Fritz Altmann in Helsinki. When Algot heard what was happening to jews in Germany, he swore to do his utmost to help everyone he could. He helped dozens of jews out of germany, buying forged passports for them. Some of the people who he helped, were wealthy enough to finance his operation for an extended period, until late in 1939. One of the people he got forged documentation for, in the end betrayed him, selling the passport onwards to someone who was sufficiently mismatched, for the ruse to fail. His name is enscribed in the same monument which contains the name of Oscar Schindler.

His memoirs have been published in multiple languages; in English as Over Green Borders: The Memoirs of Algot Niska.


-- Cimon avaro; on a pogostick. 09:55, 10 June 2006 (UTC)