The Finnish Civil War 1918

History, Memory, Legacy


The Finnish Civil War 1918 offers a rich account of the history and memory of the short conflict between socialist Reds and non-socialist Whites in the winter and spring of 1918. It also traces the legacy of the bloody war in Finnish society until today. The volume brings together established scholarship of political and social history with newer approaches stemming from the cultural history of war, memory studies, gender studies, history of emotions, psychohistory and oral history. The contributors provide readers with a solid discussion of the Civil War within its international and national frameworks. Among themes discussed are violence and terror, enemy images, Finnish irredentist campaigns in Soviet Karelia and the complex memory of the conflict. Besides a historical narrative, the volume discusses the current state of historiography of the Finnish Civil War.
Contributors are Anders Ahlbäck, Pertti Haapala, Marianne Junila, Tiina Kinnunen, Tiina Lintunen, Aapo Roselius, Tauno Saarela, Juha Siltala, Tuomas Tepora and Marko Tikka.

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Tuomas Tepora, Ph.D. (2011), University of Helsinki, is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Helsinki. He has published on the cultural history of war and on the history of emotions related to the Finnish war experiences in the 20th century.
Aapo Roselius
List of Figures and Maps…viii
List of Contributors …x
Introduction: The Finnish Civil War, Revolution, and Scholarship…1
Tuomas Tepora and Aapo Roselius

Part 1: War and its Prelude
1 The Expected and Non-Expected Roots of Chaos: Preconditions of the Finnish Civil War…21
Pertti Haapala
2 Being absorbed into an Unintended War…51
Juha Siltala
3 Warfare and Terror in 1918…90
Marko Tikka
4 Holy War: Finnish Irredentist Campaigns in the Aftermath of the Civil War…119
Aapo Roselius

Part 2: Cultural Contents and Wartime Experiences
5 The Mystifijied War: Regeneration and Sacrifijice…159
Tuomas Tepora
6 Women at War…201
Tiina Lintunen
7 War through the Children’s Eyes…230
Marianne Junila
8 Masculinities and the Ideal Warrior: Images of the Jäger Movement…254
Anders Ahlback

Part 3: Interpretations and Remembrance
9 The War of Liberation, the Civil Guards, and the Veterans’ Union: Public Memory in the Interwar Period…297
Aapo Roselius
10 To Commemorate or Not: The Finnish Labor Movement and the Memory of the Civil War in the Interwar Period…331
Tauno Saarela
11 Changing Perceptions of 1918: World War II and Post-War Rise of the Left…364
Tuomas Tepora
12 The Post-Cold War Memory Culture of the Civil War: Old-New Patterns and New Approaches…401
Tiina Kinnunen

Select Bibliography…441
All academics, students and educated laymen interested in the 20th-century history of Finland, and anyone concerned with the Russian Revolution, World War I and civil war studies.