The Finnish Socialist Workers' Republic, more commonly referred to as Red Finland, was a theoretical precursor of an unrecognized Finnish socialist state. It was outlined during the Finnish Civil War, on 29 January 1918 by the Finnish People's Delegation, the Reds and Red Guards of the Finnish Social Democratic Party, after the socialist revolution in Finland on 26 January 1918.
The name "Finnish Socialist Workers' Republic" (Suomen sosialistinen työväentasavalta) appeared only in the Treaty between Finnish People's Delegation and Russian Council of People's Commissars, signed 1 March 1918. The People's Delegation had earlier used the name Republic of Finland (Suomen tasavalta), but Soviet leader V. I. Lenin proposed adding the attributes "Socialist Workers' Republic" into the name during negotiations. The People's Delegation later blamed its delegates for succumbing to Lenin's demand, since the official name of the state should have been decided by the Finns themselves.
Finnish Socialist Workers' Republic
Suomen sosialistinen työväentasavalta
Finlands socialistiska arbetarrepublik
Motto: "Kaikkien maiden proletaarit, liittykää yhteen!"
"Workers of the world, unite!"
Red: Red Finland
Blue: White Finland
|Government||Precursor of a Socialist state|
|Legislature||Finnish People's Delegation|
|Historical era||World War I and Finnish Civil War|
|29 January 1918|
|5 May also 1918|
|Today part of|| Finland|
Red Finland/FSWR was an attempt to establish a socialist nation, based on the legacy of Scandinavian-Finnish culture, socialist ideas originating from Central Europe and Finnish nationalism, including plans to expand the Finnish territory. The political visions included principles of democracy, but as Red Finland was primarily the formation of revolution and civil war, the acts of violence and warfare were emphasized in the policy. The Red Guards included a minor faction of Finnish Bolsheviks who supported association of FSWR to Soviet Russia. FSWR/Red Finland never gained a true status and form of state and republic as the Reds lost the Civil War on 5 May 1918.
The geographical area of Red Finland as well as the front line between White and Red Finland took shape approximately between 28 January and 3 February 1918, and it remained largely unchanged until the general offensive of the Whites in March 1918.
The Finnish People's Delegation, mainly Otto Ville Kuusinen, formulated and set forth, on 23 February 1918, a draft for a constitution of Red Finland/FSWR, on the basis of the Finnish Social Democratic principles and mentality. The Marxist concept of dictatorship of the proletariat was absent from the program. Instead, it represented an idea of democratic socialism and it was influenced by the constitutions of Switzerland and United States, and French Revolution. The constitution model included most of democratic civil rights for the Finnish citizens, including an extensive use of referendum in political decision making, but private property rights were excluded and given to state and local administration. The draft was never finally formulated and approved in Red Finland, before the defeat of FSWR in the 1918 war.
The power political situation after the January Revolution in Finland raised a major question in terms of the constitution draft, among the Finnish (moderate) socialists: would the power gained via revolution allow democracy a true chance in Finnish society? Finally, political terror, carried out by the Red Guards during the Finnish civil war, led to marked controversy between the principles of democracy and true life.
Although the Finnish Socialist Worker's Republic was supported by the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR), led by Vladimir Lenin, and the 1 March 1918 Red Treaty was signed between these two unstable socialist states, an ideal level of co-operation and co-ordination was never achieved, due to both states being preoccupied with their own respective civil wars. The goal of the Finnish Reds' majority was a neutral and independent Finland, and some of them demanded annexation of Aunus, Viena Karelia and Petsamo areas of Russian Karelia to Finland. The Russian-Finnish Red treaty had only minor importance for the Bolsheviks as they carried out peace negotiations with the German Empire. In the end, the fate of the Finnish Reds and FSWR was determined through the power political decisions made between Russia and Germany.
Lenin aimed to halt a complete collapse of Russia after the revolutionary year 1917. While in political opposition prior to the October Revolution, Lenin emphasized the policy of nations' right to self-determination for the former parts of the Russian Empire. After the successful seizure of power in October 1917 and in January 1918, the Bolsheviks' power political strategy shifted gradually toward federalism. As for Finland, Lenin plotted its annexation by Russia, but the Russian Civil War, German-Russian Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, Finland-operation of the German Army, the victory of the White Guards in the Finnish civil war and the marked nationalism among the Finnish socialists stalled his plan.
The warfare between the Reds and Whites took major attention and energy of the Red leadership. Therefore, formation of the local Red civil administration remained unfinished and waited for the result of the Civil War. The top and middle rank civil servants of the pre-civil war administration refused to co-operate with the Reds, and a new leadership had to be chosen and trained from the lower rank servants.
The Finnish Civil War ended with the German invasion of Finland and the consequent defeat of the Finnish Red Guards and FSWR on 5 May 1918. After the war, the initially powerful and well-organized Finnish Social Democrats, born and bred in the relatively free and nationalistic social atmosphere, within the Scandinavian and Russian culture, and affected primarily by socialist ideas of Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia (pre-World War I Austria-Hungary), were split in two. The moderate socialists continued their pre-1918 political culture, adhered to the society and political system of Finland, while the far-left faction formed the Communist Party of Finland in August 1918 in Moscow, with the main leaders living in exile in Russia and a marked part of the common supporters living in Finland.
Alma Eufrosyne Jokinen (née Malander; 28 April 1882, Tampere - 1939, Petrozavodsk) was a Finnish politician. She was a member of the Parliament of Finland from 1908 to 1918, representing the Social Democratic Party of Finland (SDP). In 1918, during the Finnish Civil War, she sided with the Reds. When the Finnish Socialist Workers' Republic collapsed, she fled to Soviet Russia. She settled later in the Karelian ASSR, where she died in 1939. She was married to Väinö E. Jokinen, who was killed in 1920 during the Kuusinen Club Incident in Petrograd.Battle of Ahvenkoski
The Battle of Ahvenkoski was fought during the Finnish Civil War between 10 April and 5 May 1918 at Ahvenkoski (Swedish: Abborfors; lit. perch rapids), Finland between the German Empire and the Red Guards (Finnish: punakaartit) of the Finnish Socialist Workers' Republic, more commonly known as Red Finland. For most of the battle both sides occupied trenches along the Kymi river. Ahvenkoski and the surrounding Kymi valley region were the last strongholds of the Reds. The battle ended with the surrender of the last of the Red Guards on 5 May, which ended the war with White Finland and Germany defeating Red Finland.British submarine flotilla in the Baltic
A British submarine flotilla operated in the Baltic Sea for three years during the First World War. The squadron of nine submarines was attached to the Russian Baltic Fleet. The main task of the flotilla was to prevent the import of iron ore from Sweden to Imperial Germany. The success of the flotilla also forced the German Navy in the Baltic to keep to their bases and denied the German High Seas Fleet a training ground. The flotilla was based in Reval (Tallinn), and for most of its career commanded by Captain Francis Cromie.The flotilla originally consisted of six E-class and five C-class submarines. The smaller C-class submarines reached the Baltic Sea from the White Sea via northern rivers; the long-range E-class submarines managed to enter the German backwaters by passing undetected through the narrow and shallow Danish Straits. Two of the subs were lost to stranding and one went missing, now presumed sunk by a mine.
In 1918, the German occupation of Tallinn and the Brest-Litovsk peace treaty forced the flotilla to move to Helsinki, under the protection of the Finnish Socialist Workers' Republic. The German intervention in the Finnish Civil War and the landing of the 10,000-strong German Baltic Sea Division in Hanko forced the crew to scuttle the eight remaining submarines and the three support ships, Cicero, Emilie and Obsidian, outside Helsinki harbour.
A similar fate awaited the flotilla's Russian counterpart. The Ice Cruise of the Baltic Fleet had left four Russian Holland type submarines without support in Hanko. The arrival of German troops under Rüdiger von der Goltz on 3 April, forced the Russians to hastily scuttle the submarines—including AG 12 and AG 16—in Hanko harbour.Evert Eloranta
Frans Evert Eloranta (10 October 1879 – 1936) was a Finnish politician and a Member of the Parliament for the Social Democratic Party in 1908–1918. During the Finnish Civil War, Eloranta served as the Minister of Agriculture of the Finnish Socialist Workers' Republic. In March 1918, he was elected the commander-in-chief of the Red Guards as a member of the triumvirate with Eino Rahja and Adolf Taimi. After the war, Eloranta fled to the Soviet Russia, where he allegedly died in 1936.Juho Halme
Johan Valdemar "Juho" Halme (born Johan Valdemar Eliasson, 24 May 1888, Helsinki, Grand Duchy of Finland, Russian Empire; died 1 February 1918, Helsinki, Finnish Socialist Workers' Republic) was a Finnish track and field athlete who competed in the 1908 and 1912 Summer Olympics and won six Finnish championships in various events in 1907–1916. He was a victim of Red Terror.Jussi Sainio
Johan (Jussi) Walfrid Sainio (3 October 1880, Pyhäjärvi Ul – 31 August 1920, Petrograd) was a Finnish pastry chef, trade union organiser and politician. He was a member of the Parliament of Finland from 1908 to 1917. In 1918 he took part in the Finnish Civil War on the Red side. After the collapse of the Finnish Socialist Workers' Republic he fled to Soviet Russia, where he was among the founders of the Communist Party of Finland (SKP). Sainio, along with seven other Finnish communists, was killed by members of the internal opposition of the SKP on 31 August 1920 during the Kuusinen Club Incident in Petrograd.Jussi Vatanen (politician)
Johan (Jussi) Vatanen (15 January 1875, Eno – 1936, Kaluga) was a Finnish labourer and politician. He was a member of the Parliament of Finland from 1916 to 1918, representing the Social Democratic Party of Finland (SDP). During the Finnish Civil War he sided with the Reds and when the Finnish Socialist Workers' Republic collapsed, he fled to Soviet Russia. On 29 August 1918, he took part in the founding congress of the Communist Party of Finland (SKP) in Moscow. He worked as a party functionary, as a propagandist and as a teacher until 1935, when he retired. He died in 1936 in Kaluga.Lauri Letonmäki
Lauri Letonmäki (22 December 1886 in Tampere – 20 November 1935) was a Finnish journalist and politician. He was a member of the Parliament of Finland from 1914 to 1916. In 1918, during the Finnish Civil War, Letonmäki was Delegate for Justice in the Finnish People's Delegation, the government of the Finnish Socialist Workers' Republic. After the Red side lost the war, Letonmäki fled to Soviet Russia, where he was among the founders of the Communist Party of Finland (SKP). He committed suicide in 1935.List of flags of Finland
The following is a list of flags of Finland. For more information, see flag of Finland.Matti Airola
Matti Aleksanteri Airola (18 March 1882, Ruokolahti - 12 October 1939, Leningrad; born Mats Alexander Bruus; name as a Soviet citizen Матвей Матвеевич Айрола) was a Finnish journalist, attorney and politician. He was a member of the Parliament of Finland from 1908 to 1918, representing the Social Democratic Party of Finland (SDP).
In 1918, during the Finnish Civil War, Airola served as a member of the Finnish People's Delegation, the government of the Finnish Socialist Workers' Republic. When the Red side lost the war, Airola fled to Soviet Russia, where he worked as a teacher in Gatchina and in Leningrad. He became a Soviet citizen in 1927.In 1938, during the Great Purge, Airola was arrested by the NKVD and sentenced to five years in prison. He died in detention on 12 October 1939. He was posthumously rehabilitated by Soviet authorities in 1957.Nieuport 21
The Nieuport 21 was a French single-seat, single-engine fighter aircraft used during World War I. The aircraft was used by the French, Russian, British and American air forces. After the war, the Nieuport 21 was a popular civil aircraft.Pekka Huttunen
Kalle Petter (Pekka) Huttunen (2 August 1871, Rantasalmi - 24 November 1932, Petrozavodsk) was a Finnish tenant farmer and politician. He was a member of the Parliament of Finland from 1907 to 1918, representing the Social Democratic Party of Finland (SDP). During the Finnish Civil War Huttunen sided with the Reds, and after the collapse of the Finnish Socialist Workers' Republic he fled to Soviet Russia. He later settled in the Karelian ASSR.Soviet Republic
A Soviet Republic, a republic ruled by soviets (workers' councils), may refer to one of the following:
Bolshevik Russia and the Russian SFSR after the Russian Revolution of 1917 and during the Russian Civil War;
The Soviet Union as a whole;
Any of the Republics of the Soviet Union;
Any of several short-lived communist revolutionary governments that were established after the Russian Revolution under its influence:
Arbeiter- und Soldatenräte (Workers' and Soldiers' Councils) established throughout Germany, beginning in Kiel, during the German Revolution of November 1918, including Bremen, Braunschweig, Würzburg, Munich (Bavarian Soviet Republic (1918–1919)) and Alsace (Alsace Soviet Republic (8–22 November 1918)).
Bukharan People's Soviet Republic (October 1920–September 1924), established by Bolshevik communists on the territory of the Emirate of Bukhara.
Bukharan Soviet Socialist Republic (September 1924–February 1925), short-lived successor of the Bukharan People's Soviet Republic, predecessor of Uzbek SSR.
Chinese Soviet Republic, also known as the "Jiangxi Soviet" (1931–1934): led by Mao Zedong's faction of the Communist Party of China.
Commune of the Working People of Estonia (November 1918–February 1919).
Finnish Socialist Workers' Republic (January–April 1918) in the south of Finland only: Social Democratic Party of Finland.
Galician Soviet Socialist Republic (9 July–21 September 1920), created in Soviet-occupied territory during the Polish–Soviet War.
Hunan Soviet (ca. 1927): Communist Party of China.
Hungarian Soviet Republic (1919): Hungarian Communist Party.
Limerick Soviet (15–27 April 1919) established by Limerick trade union council during a general strike against British military rule.
Lithuanian–Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic (February–August 1919).
Persian Socialist Soviet Republic also known as the Soviet Republic of Gilan (June 1920–September 1921).
Republic of Užice (1941), a Partisan-governed military state during World War II.
Slovak Soviet Republic (16 June–7 July 1919), directly supported by the Hungarian one.
Soviet Republic of Naissaar, on an island in the Baltic Sea (1917–1918).
The system of government implemented in the Soviet Union and other soviet republics.Toivo Alavirta
Toivo Villiam Alavirta (27 June 1890, Tammela - 23 June 1940, Ust-Vym; original surname Ahlström; name as Soviet citizen Тойво Казимирович Алавирта) was a Finnish journalist and politician. He was a member of the Parliament of Finland from 1916 to 1918.
In 1918, during the Finnish Civil War, Alavirta worked in the administration of the Finnish Socialist Workers' Republic. When the Red side lost the war, he fled to Soviet Russia. He joined both the Communist Party of Finland and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and worked as a journalist and a party functionary in the Karelian ASSR.In 1935, Alavirta was accused of nationalism and excluded from the Communist Party. On 23 August 1937 he was arrested by the NKVD and sentenced to eight years in prison. He died on 23 June 1940 in a prison camp in Ust-Vym, in the Komi ASSR. He was posthumously rehabilitated by Soviet authorities in 1955.Työmies (1895)
Not to be confused with Työmies, a radical newspaper published in the United States from 1903 until 1950.Työmies (The Worker) was the official organ of the Social Democratic Party of Finland. The paper was launched in 1895 and continued until the suppression of the Finnish Socialist Workers' Republic in 1918.Voitto Eloranta
Johan Viktor (Voitto) Eloranta (6 July 1876, Janakkala - 1923; original surname Lindroos) was a Finnish schoolteacher, journalist and politician. He was a member of the Parliament of Finland from 1907 to 1908 and again from 1909 to 1911, representing the Social Democratic Party of Finland (SDP). In 1918, during the Finnish Civil War, he was a member of the Staff of the Central Front of the Red side. After the collapse of the Finnish Socialist Workers' Republic, Eloranta fled to Soviet Russia, where he was among the founders of the Communist Party of Finland (SKP). He eventually joined the internal opposition of the SKP and in 1922, after the Kuusinen Club Incident, where eight Finnish communists were shot by members of the party opposition, he was sentenced to death by a Soviet tribunal, accused of being the main instigator of the incident. He was shot in 1923.Eloranta was married with the playwright Elvira Willman who was also executed in Russia.Väinö E. Jokinen
Väinö E. Jokinen (March 31, 1879 in Suoniemi – August 31, 1920 in Petrograd) was a Finnish journalist and MP. Jokinen was a member of the Parliament of Finland from 1908 to 1918, representing the Social Democratic Party of Finland (SDP). In 1918, during the Finnish Civil War, Jokinen was the secretary of the Finnish People's Delegation, the government of the Finnish Socialist Workers' Republic.
Jokinen's father was steward Efraim Jokinen, and his mother was Fanny Wilhelmiina Tamlander. He graduated from high school in 1899. He translated to Finnish while studying. He worked in Hämeenlinna in Kanerva magazines reporter 1904–1905 and in Kansan Lehti in Tampere 1906–1908, Työmies magazine's reporter in Helsinki 1906–1908, Hämeen Voima magazine's reporter in Hämeenlinna 1908–1912 and Sosialisti magazine's main editor in Turku 1912–1917.
Jokinen was Social Democratic MP from Häme southern electoral district 1909-1914 and 1917.
Jokinen was the deputy speaker of Finnish Parliament in 1917, and chairman of the Grand Committee. In 1917 Jokinen worked as secretary of the Finnish Labour Union and during the Finnish Civil War he was Worker's Head Council's and People's Delegation's secretary.
After the war Jokinen moved to Russia and worked in the Council of Perm in 1918 and Kumous magazine's and Finnish Communist publications department's reporter, translating articles into Finnish. Jokinen was a member of the Finnish Communist Party's central committee and Russian Communist Party's Finnish department's main offices chairman.
Jokinen was shot on August 31, 1920 in Petrograd during the Kuusinen Club Incident. He was buried at the Field of Mars in Saint Petersburg.
His wife Alma Jokinen was also a Social Democratic MP.Whites (Finland)
The Whites (Finnish: Valkoiset, Swedish: De vita, Russian: Белофинны), or White Finland, was the name used to refer to the refugee government and forces under Pehr Evind Svinhufvud's first senate who opposed the "Reds", or the Finnish Socialist Workers' Republic, during the Finnish civil war (1918). The forces were initially formed and supported by the paramilitary White Guard, Jäger troops, and other recruitees and draftees, as well as the political right. Separatist-minded from Russia, the Jägers had left to Germany between 1914 and 1917 for military training and returned at eve of the civil war, many already as First World War veterans. They also received military support from the German Empire.
The Whites had no clear political aims in common, other than stopping the communist revolutionary Reds from taking power and returning to constitutional rule by the Senate (the government of the Grand Duchy of Finland) which was formed by the non-socialist parties of the Eduskunta (parliament) and returning to the Rule of Law. The provisional head of state of White Finland was Pehr Evind Svinhufvud, chairman of the senate at the time, and its military was commanded by Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim.
The land mass of the Finnish state was around 147,000