Thursday, July 15, 2021


A version of this photo was circulating on tumblr a few years ago without the SA-Kuva watermark, 
and a lot of viewers thought it was German.  One of my Finnish friends informed me that this was likely a Finnish delousing operation, with the men going on one side of the hut and their clothes 
on the other.  He even sent me this better image with the mark.  Thanks, Hannu!



  1. Ah ce que j'aurais aimé participer à ce genre d'épouillage...
    Ah what I would have liked to participate in this kind of delousing ...

  2. Did they spray these guys with something? Or shave their groins and bodies?

    1. Good question. Chemicals ranging from napthalene to DDT were used, sometimes sprayed directly onto individuals. I'm not aware of body hair being shaved.

    2. Chemicals were not sprayed on men in WW1 or WW2. The lice actually live in the clothes and lay eggs there. The Finn's did not have lice in WW2 because they regularly used saunas and they put the clothes in the sauna or a hot room to kill the lice. The clothing can be hot washed or put in hot areas. In WW1 the British invented a paste made of 3 chemicals that could be applied to the seams of the clothing to kill lice.