Language distinction

Discussions on the Winter War and Continuation War, the wars between Finland and the USSR.
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james_henshall
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Language distinction

Postby james_henshall » 14 Feb 2017 09:53

I am curious to know if any differences were evident between Finnish-speaking Finns fighting in both Winter- and Continuation-War? These could have been manifested in any number of ways such as ratio of volunteers? (as opposed to conscription or draft, as I believe there was), type of action or field of speciality? likelihood of holding higher rank? most importantly - attitude to the War? - etc., etc.
I also realize that all if not most of these could range from mildly to very contentious issues still.
I see that current advertising material for the Defence force and Finnish Department of defence promotes munticulturalism. I wondered how far back, precisely, that process went? (The reason being that the two composers' work (Klami and Englund) I am researching came from different (cultural, and even class) backgounds.
Again, I would be most grateful for contributors' comments. (I have searched and continue to enjoy burrowing through the wealth of material here. It is a veritable gold-mine!)
Thank you
JH

Mangrove
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Re: Language distinction

Postby Mangrove » 14 Feb 2017 16:01

james_henshall wrote:These could have been manifested in any number of ways such as ratio of volunteers? (as opposed to conscription or draft, as I believe there was), type of action or field of speciality? likelihood of holding higher rank? most importantly - attitude to the War? - etc., etc.


Statistically the municipalities with the lowest number of war casualties were all Swedish-speaking municipalities in the Ostrobothnia region (see e.g. list by Kemppinen). This might be explained by the fact that they all formed a single division (8th Division during the Winter War, 19th Division during the Continuation War) that never fought in the most "dangerous" part of the front.

After the Continuation War, these Swedish-speaking municipalities were also exempted of receiving Finnish-speaking (Karelian) refugees in order not to change the balance of languages (so called "Maanhankintalaki").

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John Hilly
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Re: Language distinction

Postby John Hilly » 14 Feb 2017 19:01

Mangrove wrote:This might be explained by the fact that they all formed a single division (8th Division during the Winter War, 19th Division during the Continuation War) that never fought in the most "dangerous" part of the front.


17th not 19th Division.
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james_henshall
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Re: Language distinction

Postby james_henshall » 14 Feb 2017 20:50

Thank you very much for that information: I am most grateful. JH

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JTV
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Re: Language distinction

Postby JTV » 14 Feb 2017 21:57

Mangrove wrote:Statistically the municipalities with the lowest number of war casualties were all Swedish-speaking municipalities in the Ostrobothnia region (see e.g. list by Kemppinen). This might be explained by the fact that they all formed a single division (8th Division during the Winter War, 19th Division during the Continuation War) that never fought in the most "dangerous" part of the front.


Another factor which may also partially explain lower level of war casualties among Swedish-speaking population is that Finnish Navy and Coastal Defense (coastal artillery & coastal infantry) obviously relied heavily to men originating from coastal areas of Baltic Sea - areas to which Swedish-speaking population was concentrated. Navy and Coastal Defense were quite certainly notably safer places to serve during the war than Field Army - or frontline infantry units of Field Army in particular.

Jarkko

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Re: Language distinction

Postby CF Geust » 15 Feb 2017 10:01

In order to give some additional information about the relocation of refugees ("evakkoja") mentioned by Mangrove above, I would like to point out that there were also Swedish-speaking refugees both after the Winter war (after 13 March 1940, city of Hanko and surrounding districts) and the Continuation war (after 19 September 1944), the so-called Porkkala area). Both Hanko/Hangö and Porkkala (main part of Kirkkonummi/Kyrkslätt, parts of Siuntio/Sjundeå, Inkoo/Ingå and also Espoo/Esbo) were at that moment mainly Swedish -speaking, and the refugees were correspondingly relocated in Swedish speaking districts.

It is also not fully correct that Finnish-speaking refugees from Karelia were not recieved in Swedish speaking districts - eg. to my mother´s home parish Pörtom/Pirttikylä (now part of Närpes/Närpiö) several families arrived from Jaakkima, and my father´s home parish in Korsnäs received refugees from Hiitola (both Jaakkima and Hiitola are located at the NW shore of Lake Ladoga; Pörtom and Korsnäs are located in Ostrobothnia South of Vaasa/Vasa).

For several reasons (including language - the local Swedish dialect is very difficult to understand even for people speaking normal/standard Swedish, and religion - the refugees were in some cases Orthodox, while the local population is 100 % Lutheran), and after appropriate aquisition of farms according to the law referred to above by Mangrove (all Finnish local communities regardless of official language were requested to receive and accommodate refugees, however in order not to affect the language situation the local communities had the possibility to pay for farms etc. in Finnish speaking districts, where the refugees correspodingly were able to relocate permanently), most of these refugees moved gradually to other, Finnish-speaking districts.

In retrospective it can be noted that Finland solved its refugee problem very fast and successfully, and in an internationally unique manner.

In Pirttikylä/Pörtom the memory of the refugees is honored by this monument at the local cemetery, where refugees from Jaakkima who died 1944-1948 were buried. Reunions of the local people and the refugees from Jaakkima have regularly been arranged in Pörtom/Pirttikylä.

Please note that many of the deceased were elderly people, who apparently did not stand the physical and mental chock of the lomg and tedious transporation and in particular the loss of their homes in Jaakkima:
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Last edited by CF Geust on 16 Feb 2017 08:53, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Language distinction

Postby CF Geust » 16 Feb 2017 07:54

Please note that I have made some corrections and additions to my post above.

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Re: Language distinction

Postby antwony » 16 Feb 2017 20:33

james_henshall wrote:I am curious to know if any differences were evident between Finnish-speaking Finns fighting in both Winter- and Continuation-War? These could have been manifested in any number of ways such as ratio of volunteers? (as opposed to conscription or draft, as I believe there was), type of action or field of speciality? likelihood of holding higher rank? most importantly - attitude to the War? - etc., etc.
I also realize that all if not most of these could range from mildly to very contentious issues still.
I see that current advertising material for the Defence force and Finnish Department of defence promotes munticulturalism. I wondered how far back, precisely, that process went? (The reason being that the two composers' work (Klami and Englund) I am researching came from different (cultural, and even class) backgounds.
Again, I would be most grateful for contributors' comments. (I have searched and continue to enjoy burrowing through the wealth of material here. It is a veritable gold-mine!)
Thank you
JH


Feel I should point out that all the respondents have seemed to have misread the question. James wasn't asking about Swedish speaking Finns.

When Finland stopped being a part of Sweden it became a Grand Duchy of the Russian Empire. It maintained it's own laws and it's own parliament. However, any new laws that the parliament decided on needed to be approved by the Czar. The Czar didn't approve many potential laws and, in addition, Finnish Parliament could only meet if the Czar had given his prior approval, which often wasn't forthcoming. This resulted in Finland, through to 1905, having some extremely old Swedish laws in effect.

For the purpose of this mail I am going to (some what incorrectly) claim that up to 1905, you could only be a Finnish citizen if you were a member of a national church. This resulted in Finland being not that multicultural.

While the laws of Finland were determined by its parliament, the parliament couldn't make laws on defence matters (Finland, pretty much, didn't have an army for ~200 years) which could only be made by the Czar and those laws took precedence over Finnish national laws. One of these laws was that any former soldier who had survived his "national service" period (which was 20 years and tended to be a death sentence) was granted some real estate anywhere in the empire, which included Finland.

Many former Imperial Russian Army soldiers, some of whom were Jewish or Muslim, settled in Finland.

While in 1904 Finland had some very old, massively discriminatory laws, by 1905 the laws had become very progressive.

Don't know much about Finland's Muslims, but the Jewish soldiers often get mentioned in regards to their service during WW2. Finland's Jewish population circa 1939, was pretty much exclusively descended from old-school Czarist army personal and were very much anti- Communist, which the Finnish Army appreciated.

Had an ex-girlfriend who was a gypsy and she claimed her (gypsy) granddad was killed during WW2 but wasn't allowed to be buried in a military cemetery. This being said, that girl claimed all sorts of things and she's not to be believed.

The big difference between Finnish speakers would be political differences, which also coincided with some region stuff. Know the commander of the local regiment where I live (Tampere) wasn't local but came from Ostrobothia, a region Mangrove mentions, and know some local communist youth spent the war hiding in the woods.

Recently read a book that claimed a nearby milltown, Hämeenkyrö, had the highest proportion of young men not responding to the call up in Finland.

JTV wrote:Another factor which may also partially explain lower level of war casualties among Swedish-speaking population is that Finnish Navy and Coastal Defense (coastal artillery & coastal infantry) obviously relied heavily to men originating from coastal areas of Baltic Sea - areas to which Swedish-speaking population was concentrated. Navy and Coastal Defense were quite certainly notably safer places to serve during the war than Field Army - or frontline infantry units of Field Army in particular.

Jarkko


My dad did his national service in the navy. He claimed the language of command was still Swedish when he served. Then again, that gypsy girl I mentioned told less fanciful stories than my dad.

Mangrove wrote:Statistically the municipalities with the lowest number of war casualties were all Swedish-speaking municipalities in the Ostrobothnia region (see e.g. list by Kemppinen). This might be explained by the fact that they all formed a single division (8th Division during the Winter War, 19th Division during the Continuation War) that never fought in the most "dangerous" part of the front.


Not going to disagree with you, and going through that list there are a lot of weird places, whose names I'm not familiar with, but are possibly Swedish speaking, which took ~1% casualties while all the higher percentage places seemed to be unilaterally Finnish speaking. Am pretty sure Langelmäki (which is near Tampere) is the "winner" of that list.

This being said, of places in Pohjanmaa I know, Vaasa (which also had plenty of Finnish speakers) was 2.5% and under the national average, while Uusikarlepyy (unilaterally Swedish speaking???) was 6.8%. But yeah, one exception doesn't necessarily disprove your statement.

CF Geust wrote:In order to give some additional information about the relocation of refugees ("evakkoja") mentioned by Mangrove above, I would like to point out that there were also Swedish-speaking refugees both after the Winter war (after 13 March 1940, city of Hanko and surrounding districts) and the Continuation war (after 19 September 1944), the so-called Porkkala area). Both Hanko/Hangö and Porkkala (main part of Kirkkonummi/Kyrkslätt, parts of Siuntio/Sjundeå, Inkoo/Ingå and also Espoo/Esbo) were at that moment mainly Swedish -speaking, and the refugees were correspondingly relocated in Swedish speaking districts.


Interesting points, which I hadn't heard before. Although, Hangö and Porkkala... how many Swedish speakers lived there? 10,000? maybe... Over 10% of the population had to be resettled. Would have thought there'd be more Swedish speakers in Viipuri (and Kexsholm + some islands???) than in Hanko.
_____________________________________________________________________

P.S. Klami and Englund, how the hell did you come up with those two? You've got a great "artisté" (Klemi) who no one knows about and a populist "hack" (Englund) who no one cares about. It's like studying the Young Marble Giants and Tom Jones. Actually, it's not like YMG and Jones at all, but they are two very dispirate things

Mangrove
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Re: Language distinction

Postby Mangrove » 17 Feb 2017 12:10

CF Geust wrote:In order to give some additional information about the relocation of refugees ("evakkoja") mentioned by Mangrove above, I would like to point out that there were also Swedish-speaking refugees both after the Winter war (after 13 March 1940, city of Hanko and surrounding districts) and the Continuation war (after 19 September 1944), the so-called Porkkala area). Both Hanko/Hangö and Porkkala (main part of Kirkkonummi/Kyrkslätt, parts of Siuntio/Sjundeå, Inkoo/Ingå and also Espoo/Esbo) were at that moment mainly Swedish -speaking, and the refugees were correspondingly relocated in Swedish speaking districts.


Still, the Swedish-speaking regions had to endure less stress from the refugees because mostly they didn't have to accept Finnish-speaking refugees. The following administrative numbers are from Statistics Finland (Tilastokeskus) yearbooks:

Finland: Population on 31 December 1939 was 3 888 443. 9.6 % of the population was Swedish-speaking on 31 December 1940.

Viipuri: Population on 31 December 1939 was 74 403. 7.1 % of the population was Swedish-speaking on 31 December 1930.
Sortavala: Population on 31 December 1939 was 4 710. 0.5 % of the population was Swedish-speaking on 31 December 1930.
Käkisalmi: Population on 31 December 1939 was 5 083. 0.2 % of the population was Swedish-speaking on 31 December 1930.

Hanko/Hangö: Population on 31 December 1939 was 7 891. 77.5 % of the population was Swedish-speaking on 31 December 1940.
Kirkkonummi/Kyrkslätt: Population on 31 December 1944 was 7 715. 81.5 % of the population was Swedish-speaking on 31 December 1940.

The amount of Swedish-speaking refugees from the Karelia was quite minuscule. The amount of Finnish-speaking refugees due to the Winter War was around 12 % of the Finnish-speaking population, while the amount of Swedish-speaking refugees due to the Winter War was 2 % around of the Swedish-speaking population.

Furthermore, Swedish-speaking hundreds (kihlakunta/härad) owned more farm animals compared to the Finnish-speaking areas of similar size around them and thus probably were more wealthier in general than them. For example, people living at Närpes and Korsholms härads owned 1/3 of all horses and 1/4 of all cattle and sheeps at Vaasa Province in 1939, while compromising only 1/5 of the population of the Province in 1939.

It seems that the Swedish-speaking regions in the Ostrobothnia had better possibilities to relocate all kind of refugees after the Winter and Continuation War, but were not willing due to political reasons.

james_henshall
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Re: Language distinction

Postby james_henshall » 18 Feb 2017 14:00

Reply to Antwony:
The reason I asked the question was for background information on the service history and attitude to national identity that Englund and Klami had as both will have a direct bearing on the music of the two "War" symphonies written immediately after '45, Englund's First, and Klami's Second. I respectfully have to disagree with you abut the demerits of Englund's work. He was a fine composer but entirely different in aesthetic motivation from Klami!
Kami's Second has a most unusual scherzo which sounds just like a musical ambush fought on skis. It is utterly unique. As well as that he quotes the White Guard March in the Finale.
Englund, on the other hand tends to follow the model of Shostakovitch's Seventh.
Two other differences are that Klami fought with/in the White Guard and never felt he had to prove anything in following the Neo-Romantic "Aino" aesthetic: Finnish audiences forgave him anything - which is interesting from the musicological point of view.
Englund, on the other hand, was always an outsider.

Thank you, gentlemen, for your repliesto my post. JH

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Re: Language distinction

Postby Mangrove » 24 Feb 2017 09:56

According to Kulomaa's dissertation (published as Käpykaartiin? 1941-1944: sotilaskarkuruus Suomen armeijassa jatkosodan aikana), most of the (see a map in the link below) deserters that deserted during the mobilisation in 1941 were from Länsi-Pohja, Pohjois-Satakunta and Vakka-Suomi districts. Kulomaa assess that these were rural areas where it was easier to go into hiding during the summer months and that urban defaulters accounter for just 1/6 of all cases. However, around 3/4 of the c. 800 deserters taking refugee in Sweden during the summer of 1944 were from Swedish-speaking districts in Ostrobothnia region: 120 from Närpes, 85 from Munsala, 67 from Korsnäs etc.

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