Finland in World War II

History, Memory, Interpretations


This volume brings together a rich array of original contributions - hitherto unavailable in English - on Finland during World War II and the place of the war in Finnish collective memory. Providing readers with a solid narrative of the war's political and military framework from a Finnish perspective, this volume also offers well-argued analyses of the ideological, social and cultural aspects of a society at war. As part of the complex legacy of the war it discusses the 'Karelian question' and the Holocaust in Finnish public memory, topics often neglected in international scholarship. Besides a historical narrative, this volume, with its thorough introduction, also reveals to readers the history and current state of Finnish historiography of World War II.
Contributors are Outi Fingerroos, Sonja Hagelstam, Antero Holmila, Markku Jokisipilä, Michael Jonas, Marianne Junila, Tiina Kinnunen, Ville Kivimäki, Helene Laurent, Henrik Meinander, Tenho Pimiä, Oula Silvennoinen, Tuomas Tepora, and Pasi Tuunainen.
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Biographical Note

Tiina Kinnunen, Ph.D. (2000) in General History, University of Tampere, Finland, is Adjunct Professor at the University of Eastern Finland. She has published on the history of European feminism and historical writing, and Finnish history culture of World War II.
Ville Kivimäki, MA, is a doctoral student of history at the Åbo Akademi University in Finland. He is finishing his PhD thesis on the war trauma and psychiatric treatment of the Finnish soldiers in 1941-45.

Table of contents

Permissions and Credits for the Illustrations
List of Maps and Tables
List of Abbreviations

Three Wars and Their Epitaphs The Finnish History and Scholarship of World War II
Ville Kivimäki

Part One. Politics and the Military
1. Finland and the Great Powers in World War II: Ideologies, Geopolitics, Diplomacy
Henrik Meinander
2. The Politics of an Alliance: Finland in Nazi Foreign Policy and War Strategy
Michael Jonas
3. The Finnish Army at War: Operations and Soldiers, 1939–45
Pasi Tuunainen

Part Two. Social Frameworks, Cultural Meanings
4. Wars on the Home Front: Mobilization, Economy and Everyday Experiences
Marianne Junila
5. Meaningless Death or Regenerating Sacrifice? Violence and Social Cohesion in Wartime Finland
Ville Kivimäki & Tuomas Tepora
6. Families, Separation and Emotional Coping in War: Bridging Letters between Home and Front, 1941–44
Sonja Hagelstam

Part Three. Ideologies in Practice
7. War and the Emerging Social State: Social Policy, Public Health and Citizenship in Wartime Finland
Helene Laurent
8. Limits of Intentionality: Soviet Prisoners-of-War and Civilian Internees in Finnish Custody
Oula Silvennoinen
9. Greater Finland and Cultural Heritage: Finnish Scholars in Eastern Karelia, 1941–44
Tenho Pimiä

Part Four. Wars of Memory
10. Shifting Images of “Our Wars”: Finnish Memory Culture of World War II
Tiina Kinnunen & Markku Jokisipilä
11. “Karelia Issue”: The Politics and Memory of Karelia in Finland
Outi Fingerroos
12. Varieties of Silence: Collective Memory of the Holocaust in Finland
Antero Holmila

Selected Bibliography: Studies on Finnish History in World War II in English


All those interested in Finnish history and politics of memory in the 20th century, Finnish historiography of World War II, as well as social and cultural historians of war, and historians of World War II in Europe.


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