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Aspects of the Governing of the Finns


George Maude

Aspects of the Governing of the Finns surveys both the political and economic impacts of certain domestic and international forces on Finland. This book follows a wide range of history – from the revolution of 1918 to the present-day uneasiness of ever-encroaching capitalism.


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CHAPTER 3 A RESTORATION OF POWER? It was 16 May 1939. A parade was being held in the streets of Viipuri, the principal city in the Karelian Isthmus, then still in Finland, and not yet a part of the Soviet Union. Watching the parade was Mrs. Kerttu Kalenius from Kouvola. She was heavily pregnant and did not see much of the parade, having to be rushed to hospital to give birth to her daughter Helena. Mrs. Kalenius might just have had the time before the birth to hear the words of the army chaplain Sillanpää who recalled the words of the Epistle of Paul to the Romans, 8: 31, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” In the forthcoming war, there were to be plenty against the Finns, but in the long run, perhaps Apostle Paul, Chaplain Sillanpää, and the Almighty were going to be proved right. The short run was to be different. Had Mrs. Kalenius seen the whole parade, she would have seen Major- General Taavetti Laatikainen, an old jaeger, and now head of the Viipuri garrison, marching at the head of his infantry, some coastal artillery, a naval contingent, planes flying overhead, and some anti-aircraft guns being trundled along, and she would have heard a lot of about the fortifications and the spirit of those who had volunteered to extend them.1 Eheyttyminen (for the Finns, of course) was the name of the mood. That latter mood was to be demonstrated by the Finns in...

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