Patriotic People's Movement

Patriotic People's Movement (Finnish: Isänmaallinen kansanliike, IKL, Swedish: Fosterländska folkrörelsen) was a Finnish nationalist and anti-communist political party. IKL was the successor of the previously banned Lapuan liike. It existed from 1932 to 1944 and had an ideology similar to its predecessor, except that IKL participated in elections — with limited success.

Patriotic People's Movement

Isänmaallinen kansanliike
President (s)Vihtori Kosola (1932–36)
Vilho Annala (1937–1944)
Preceded byLapua Movement
NewspaperAjan Suunta
Youth wingSinimustat
IdeologyFinnish nationalism
Greater Finland
Clerical fascism
Political positionFar-right
International affiliationNone
Colours             Black, white, blue
Party flag



The IKL was founded at a conference on 5 June 1932 as a continuation of the Lapua Movement.[2] The three major founding members were Herman Gummerus, Vilho Annala and Erkki Räikkönen.[3] Lapua leader Vihtori Kosola was imprisoned for his part in the Mäntsälä rebellion at the time of formation but the leadership was officially kept in reserve for him and other leading rebels, notably Annala and Bruno Salmiala, were involved in the formation of IKL.[4]


IKL parliamentary group
IKL parliamentary group standing in front of the Eduskunta.

Ideologically, IKL was ardently nationalist and anti-Communist, and endorsed an aggressive foreign policy against the Soviet Union and hostility towards the Swedish language.[4] The creation of a Greater Finland was an important goal for the party.[5] Many of its leaders were priests or participants of the mainly Ostrobothnian Pietist movement called Herännäisyys.[6] Its manifested purpose was to be the Christian-moral conscience of the parliament. A more hard-line tendency was also active, centred on Bruno Salmiala.[7]

The IKL uniform was a black shirt with blue tie, inspired by the Italian fascists,[4] and also by the Herännäisyys movement, which had a tradition for black clothing. Members greeted each other with a Roman salute.[8]

The IKL had its own youth organization, called Sinimustat (Blue-blacks), members of which were trained in combat.[4] It was led by Elias Simojoki, a charismatic priest.[9] Sinimustat were banned in 1936 (although they were immediately reformed as Mustapaidat ('Blackshirts')).

The party received its main support from wealthy farmers, the educated middle-class, civil servants, the Lutheran clergy and university students.[5] Geographically, IKL obtained its largest share of votes in Southern Ostrobothnian municipalities such as Kuortane, Lapua and Ilmajoki.[10]

Relationship to mainstream politics

IKL leadership with Italian delegation 1933
IKL leadership receiving a bust of Mussolini from an Italian delegation on June 7, 1933. From left: Italian special envoy Gray, Italian ambassador Tamaro, Vilho Annala, Vihtori Kosola, Bruno Salmiala, Juhana Malkamäki, Eino Tuomivaara

IKL participated in parliamentary elections. In 1933 its election list was pooled with the National Coalition Party (Kokoomus), and got 14 seats out of 200.[11] Kokoomus collapsed from 42 to 18 seats. After the collapse, Juho Kusti Paasikivi was elected chairman of Kokoomus. He converted his party to the voice of big business and as such had no interest in the direct action tactics of IKL, and thus weeded out the most outspoken IKL sympathizers from the party.[12]

IKL came under increasing scrutiny from government and was subject to two laws designed to arrest its progress. In 1934 a law passed allowing the suppression of propaganda which brought government or constitution into contempt and this was used against the movement, whilst the following year a law banning political uniforms and private uniformed organisations came in, seriously affecting the Sinimustat in particular.[12]

IKL kept its 14 seats in the elections of 1936 but was weakened by the overwhelming victory for the coming social democrat-agrarian coalition, under Prime Minister Aimo Kaarlo Cajander that would replace in the spring of 1937 the centrist minority government of Kyösti Kallio, which had, in turn, replaced the narrow right-wing minority government of Toivo Mikael Kivimäki.[12] The strong new government soon moved against the IKL, with Urho Kekkonen, then Minister of the Interior, bringing legal proceedings against the movement late in 1938. However, the courts did not find sufficient grounds for banning IKL.[13] Despite this the prosperity experienced under Cajander's government hit the IKL and in the 1939 elections they managed only eight seats.[14] Kekkonen was one of two leading government opponents of the IKL who would later go on to serve as presidents of Finland, the other being Juho Kusti Paasikivi.

Final years

The Winter War, and particularly the Moscow Peace, were seen by IKL and its sympathizers as the ultimate proof of the parliamentary government's failed foreign policy. During the year after the Winter War, Finland's foreign policy was drastically changed, by and large to correspond with that of IKL, and Annala was even included in the Cabinet in January 1941, when all but one parties of the parliament were represented. The price of this recognition was however an end to IKL attacks on the system and as such an effective end to the very reason it had support.[15] After the initial enthusiasm of the Continuation War in 1941 waned during the first winter, IKL wasn't included in Edwin Linkomies' cabinet in spring 1943.

In the aftermath of the Continuation War, IKL was banned, on the insistence of the Soviet Union, four days after the armistice between Finland and the Soviet Union was signed 19 September 1944.[16]

The IKL initials returned to the far-right political scene in 1993 with the foundation of the Isänmaallinen Kansallis-Liitto by Matti Järviharju. The new movement has remained insignificant to date.

Notable IKL supporters

Election results

Parliament of Finland

Date Votes Seats Position Size
# % ± pp # ±
1936 97,891 8.34% + 8.34
14 / 200
Increase 14 Opposition 5th
1939 86,219 6.65% + 6.65
8 / 200
Decrease Opposition 5th

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ A.F. Upton, 'Finland', S.J Woolf, Fascism in Europe, London, 1981, p. 215
  3. ^ Philip Rees, Biographical Dictionary of the Extreme Right Since 1890, 1990, p. 11
  4. ^ a b c d Upton, p. 215
  5. ^ a b F. L. Carsten (1982). The rise of fascism, p. 168-169
  6. ^ R. Alapuro (1970). Akateeminen Karjala-seura: Ylioppilasliike ja kansa 1920- ja 1930-luvulla.
  7. ^ Rees, p. 342
  8. ^ Eepos, Suomen historian käsikirja, Torsten Edgren, Merja Manninen & Jari Ukkonen, WSOY, ISBN 951-0-27651-0. pp. 329-330: IKL - lapuanliikkeen jatkaja
  9. ^ Rees
  10. ^ Juhani Mylly (1988). Maalaisliitto-Keskustapuolueen historia: Maalaisliitto 1918-1939, p. 385
  11. ^ Upton, p. 217
  12. ^ a b c Upton, p. 218
  13. ^ Upton, p. 219
  14. ^ Upton, p. 220
  15. ^ Upton, p. 221
  16. ^ Upton, p. 222
  17. ^ Vilho Lampi biography

External links

Arne Somersalo

Arne Sakari Somersalo (born 18 March 1891 in Tampere as Arne Sommer – died 17 August 1941 near Kiestinki, Soviet Union) was a Finnish officer and anti-communist activist.

Somersalo was educated at the University of Helsinki before studying natural sciences at the University of Jena. Based in Germany during the First World War he enrolled in the German Army as an officer in 1916, serving until the armistice. He would later claim that the war had been the death of old Europe and argued that one of its main positives was that it had "rescued our nation from the deadly, slimy embrace of a lothsome cuttlefish" in reference to Russia. He transferred straight to the Finnish Army and from 1920 to 1926 was the commander of the Finnish Air Force.He became involved in politics in 1926 when he started editing the right wing journal Valkoinen Vartio and then founded the fiercely anti-communist Finnish Defence League. He joined the Lapua Movement in 1930 then the Patriotic People's Movement (IKL) in 1932, serving as a delegate to the Parliament of Finland for the latter from 1933 to 1935 for Turku. He was also the editor in chief of the IKL party newspaper Ajan Suunta from 1931 to 1935. Ideologically he was a supporter of corporatism and was close to fascism.Recalled to active service for the Winter War, he acted as Chief of Staff for the frontline in Suomussalmi and was awarded the Order of the Cross of Liberty for his actions. During the Continuation War, Somersalo acted as a liaison officer for the German SS division Nord in Finnish Lapland. He was killed in action near Kiestinki (Kestenga), USSR on 17 August 1941.

Arvi Malmivaara

Arvi Einar Malmivaara (23 May 1885, Kiuruvesi – 30 August 1970, Seinäjoki; surname until 1906 Malmberg) was a Finnish Lutheran clergyman and politician. He was a member of the Parliament of Finland from 1935 to 1939, representing the Patriotic People's Movement (IKL). He was also active in the Lapua Movement.

He received a degree of Philosophiae Magister in 1910. He was working as a teacher of a theological discipline and of drawing at Lapua's school of social sciences during 1909-1919. From 1913 to 1918 he was also a leader of this school. He worked as a parish priest in Kuusankoski in 1919-1923, and from 1923 to 1928, and then was a parish priest in Ylistaro during the period of 1928-1958. From 1939 to 1958 he worked in Provincial Council of Lapua.He participated in Presidential elections in Finland in 1937, 1940, 1943. From 2 September 1935 to 31 August 1939 he was a member of Finish Parliament from Patriotic People's Movement (IKL) in Vaasa.

Malmivaara ornamented the inner sanctuary of church in Valkeala Jesus in Gethsemane.

Bruno Salmiala

Bruno Aleksander Salmiala (24 August 1890 in Gävle, Sweden as Bruno Sundström – 4 September 1981 in Helsinki) was a Finnish legal theorist and a far-right politician.

Eino Tuomivaara

Eino Aarne Tuomivaara (13 February 1887, Säkkijärvi – 17 June 1975; surname until 1906 Hägglund) was a Finnish agronomist and politician. He served as Minister of Social Affairs from 4 July 1930 to 21 March 1931. He was a member of the Parliament of Finland, representing the Agrarian League from 1924 to 1930 and the Patriotic People's Movement (IKL) from 1933 to 1939 and again from 1941 to 1944 and finally, after the IKL was banned on 23 September 1944, as an Independent from 1944 to 1945.

Elias Simojoki

Lauri Elias Simojoki (28 January 1899 – 25 January 1940) was a Finnish clergyman who became a leading figure in the country's far right movement.

The son of a clergyman, Simojoki was born on 28 January 1899 in Rautio. As a youth he saw service in the struggle for Finnish independence and then with the Forest Guerrillas in East Karelia. A student in theology at the University of Helsinki, he became involved in the formation of Academic Karelia Society, serving as chairman from 1922-3 and secretary from 1923-4. He advocated the union of all Finnish people into a Greater Finland whilst in this post. Strongly influenced by Russophobia, the student Simojoki addressed a rally on 'Kalevala Day' in 1923 with the slogan "In the name of Finland's lost honour and her coming greatness, death to the Ruskis."Simojoki was ordained as a minister in 1925 and he held the chaplaincy at Kiuruvesi from 1929 until his death. He became involved with the Patriotic People's Movement and, in 1933, took command of their youth movement, Sinimustat (The Blue-and-Blacks), which looked for inspiration to similar movements amongst fascist parties in Germany and Italy. The movement was banned in 1936 due to its involvement in revolutionary activity in Estonia, although Simojoki continued to serve as a leading member of the Patriotic People's Movement. He was a Member of Parliament in 1933-1939. He founded a second youth group, Mustapaidat (the Black Shirts), in 1937, although this proved less successful.When the Winter War broke out in 1939 Simojoki enlisted as a chaplain in the Finnish Army. He was killed in action on Koirinoja's ice in Impilahti, while putting down a wounded horse in no man's land. After the Finnish troops were unable to put down the horse from their positions, Simojoki skied to the horse and euthanized it with a pistol. Having done that, he was gunned down by a Soviet machine gun.

Erkki Räikkönen

Erkki Aleksanteri Räikkönen (August 13, 1900 – March 30, 1961) was a Finnish nationalist leader.

Born in St. Petersburg to a cantor, he attended the University of Helsinki before taking part in the ill-fated mission to secure independence for Karelia in 1921. Like most of those who took part in this event he joined the Academic Karelia Society (AKS), helping to found the movement along with Elias Simojoki and Reino Vähäkallio. He quit in 1928 to join Itsenäisyyden Liitto (Independence League), a group that had been formed by Pehr Evind Svinhufvud, Räikkönen's most admired political figure. Räikkönen took this decision in response to the banning of the Lapua Movement, a move that had left the far right in Finland without a wide organisational basis (groups like AKS having small, elite memberships).Along with Herman Gummerus and Vilho Annala Räikkönen was the founder of the Patriotic People's Movement in 1932. He would not stay a member long however as the group soon became purely Finnish (isolating the Swedish-speaking Räikkönen) and moved closer to Nazism, which he opposed.Having left the movement he contented himself with editing the journal Suomen Vapaussota, whilst also becoming involved in the Gustav Vasa movement, a right wing organization for Finland's Swedish-speaking population. He ultimately emigrated to Sweden in 1945 and lived out his life there in retirement.

Herman Gummerus

Herman Gregorius Gummerus (24 December 1877 in Saint Petersburg – 18 July 1948 in Helsinki) was a leading Finnish classical scholar, diplomat, and one of the founders of the Patriotic People's Movement (IKL).

Hilja Riipinen

Hilja Elisabet Riipinen (30 October 1883 – 18 January 1966, née Miklin, later Metsäpolku) was a Finnish politician involved with the nationalist and anti-communist Lapua Movement and Patriotic People's Movement (IKL). She was a member of parliament between 1930 and 1939, first elected from the electoral list of the National Coalition Party, but she defected to the Patriotic People's Movement after it was formed as a political party in 1933.

Being uncompromising in her general address, one of the most vehemently anti-communist IKL parliamentarians and her support for radical elements in the movement proved troublesome for her relations outside of the party. This earned her the nickname Hurja-Hilja, or "Wild Hilja".

Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna

The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (People's Liberation Front), often abbreviated as JVP (Sinhala: ජනතා විමුක්ති පෙරමුණ; Tamil: மக்கள் விடுதலை முன்னணி) is a communist and Marxist–Leninist party and political movement in Sri Lanka. The movement was involved in two armed uprisings against the ruling governments in 1971 (SLFP) and 1987–89 (UNP). The movement entered democratic politics by participating in the 1994 parliamentary election as a political party, and has been a third party in Sinhalese Sri Lankan politics since then.

Kaarlo Salovaara

Karl (Kaarlo) Fredrik Salovaara (20 July 1874 in Hämeenlinna – 4 January 1956; surname until 1896 Lundahl) was a Finnish Lutheran clergyman and politician. He was a member of the Parliament of Finland from 1936 to 1939, representing the Patriotic People's Movement (IKL).

Kustaa Jussila

Kustaa Aadolf Jussila (8 October 1879, in Orivesi – 9 February 1964) was a Finnish farmer and politician. He was a member of the Parliament of Finland from 1936 to 1939, representing the Patriotic People's Movement (IKL). He was the elder brother of Eetu Jussila.

Lapua Movement

The Lapua Movement (Finnish: Lapuan liike, Swedish: Lapporörelsen) was a Finnish radical nationalist and anti-communist political movement founded in and named after the town of Lapua. After radicalisation it turned towards far-right politics and was banned after a failed coup-d'état in 1932. Anti-communist activities of the movement continued in the parliamentarian Patriotic People's Movement.

Otto Piisinen

Otto Piisinen (17 August 1885, Kuopion maalaiskunta – 15 August 1965) was a Finnish journalist and politician. He was a Member of the Parliament of Finland from 1913 to 1917, representing the Social Democratic Party of Finland (SDP). He belonged to the right wing of the party and, unlike most members of his party, sided with the Whites during the Finnish Civil War of 1918. Moving even further to the right, he was later active in the Patriotic People's Movement (IKL).

Reino Ala-Kulju

Reino Ala-Kulju (25 April 1898, Kuortane – 5 August 1983) was a Finnish Lutheran clergyman, secondary school teacher and politician. He was a member of the Parliament of Finland, representing the Patriotic People's Movement (IKL) from 1933 to 1939 and the National Coalition Party from 1952 to 1954 and from 1959 to 1966. Eveliina Ala-Kulju was his mother.

Vihtori Kosola

Iisakki Vihtori Kosola (10 July 1884 – 14 December 1936) was the leader of the Finnish right-wing radical Lapua Movement.

Kosola was born in Ylihärmä, Southern Ostrobothnia. His family's farmhouse burnt down the next year, and the family moved to Lapua. His formative years were spent in farming and cattle-breeding.

Kosola was an active recruiter of Finnish Jäger troops to Germany from Autumn 1915, and was incarcerated in 1916. He was imprisoned in Helsinki, then at the Shpalernaya prison in St. Petersburg among other Finnish activists. He was released after the Russian Revolution and eagerly took part in the Finnish Civil War against the Red Guards and the Russians. After the war Kosola led the Lapua White Guard. He also joined the Agrarian League.

In the 1920s he organized Vientirauha, a strikebreakers' organisation, in Southern Ostrobothnia. He made a speech at the first meeting of the anti-communist Lapua Movement as it was organized in 1929, and was chosen as its leader as the movement radicalized in the following year. He took part of the abortive Mäntsälä Rebellion of 1932 that ended with the dissolution and banning of the Lapua Movement and the brief imprisonment of Kosola.

Kosola was chosen as president of the Lapua Movement's successor, the Patriotic People's Movement (IKL), but as the Movement became more political, Kosola had less time to participate in its affairs in Helsinki. Kosola's political career ended in 1936, when he was deposed from IKL's leadership; he was considered more of a liability than an asset by IKL. Contemporary accounts describe Kosola after being freed from jail as a tired and sick man who drank alcohol to deal with the stress. He was also in excessive debt and his farm was subject to foreclosure and auction. He died of pneumonia in December 1936. Kosola's first son, Niilo, bought the farm and was eventually elected as a MP and briefly as a government minister. Kosola's second son, Pentti, was imprisoned for shooting a political opponent. Pentti fought in the Winter War (1939–40) as a fighter pilot, but was killed in action.Kosola's radical right-wing politics caused a common saying in the 1930s: "Heil Hitler, meil Kosola," accented Finnish for "They've got Hitler, we've got Kosola". Sometimes also a third stanza, "muil Mussolini" (the others have Mussolini) was added. Kosola had a sobriquet Kosolini after his charismatic and vivid style of speech similar to Benito Mussolini.

Vilho Annala

Vilho Annala (17 January 1888, Lapua – died 28 July 1960, Helsinki) was a Finnish civil servant, economist and far right politician.

Vilho Helanen

Vilho Veikko Päiviö Helanen (24 November 1899 in Oulu – 8 June 1952 in Frankfurt am Main) was a Finnish civil servant and politician.

A student as the University of Helsinki he gained an MA in 1923 and completed his doctorate in 1940. From 1924 to 1926 he edited the student paper Ylioppilaslehti and around this time joined the Academic Karelia Society. He served as chairman of the group from 1927-8, from 1934-5 and again from 1935–44, helping to turn the Society against democracy. Helanen visited Estonia in 1933 and was amazed at the high levels of popular support for the far right that he witnessed there, in contrast to Finland where it was a more marginal force. As a result, he was involved in the coup attempt of the Vaps Movement in Estonia in 1935.Helanen was a major inspiration for the Patriotic People's Movement and a close friend of Elias Simojoki, although he did not join the group and instead became a vocal supporter of Adolf Hitler. He formed his own group, Nouseva Suomi, in 1940 which, despite his earlier radicalism, became associated with the mainstream National Progressive Party.Rising to be head of the civil service during the Second World War he was imprisoned after the war for treasonable offences. Following his release he worked for Suomi-Filmi and also wrote a series of detective novels. He died of a heart attack in the railway station of Frankfurt am Main, West Germany.

Yrjö Kivenoja

Yrjö Efraim Kivenoja (25 May 1880, Kuopio – 3 July 1948; original surname Stenius) was a Finnish Lutheran clergyman and politician. At first a member of the National Coalition Party, he later joined the Patriotic People's Movement (IKL), which he represented in the Parliament of Finland from 1933 to 1936.

Yrjö Saarinen

Yrjö Reinhold Saarinen (22 October 1899, Hämeenlinna – 23 September 1977) was a Finnish engineer and politician. He was a member of the Parliament of Finland, representing the Patriotic People's Movement (IKL) from 1936 to 1944 and as an Independent from 1944 to 1945, after the IKL was banned on 23 September 1944.

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