Could finnish men leave the country 1939-40?

Discussions on the Winter War and Continuation War, the wars between Finland and the USSR.
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Rene385273
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Could finnish men leave the country 1939-40?

Post by Rene385273 » 06 Mar 2022 09:55

Dear members

Does anyone know if there were any Finnish laws that prescribed 'combat-capable' men (for example, at a specific age 18-60 years) were not allowed to leave/flee the country as fugitive during the Winter War 1939-40?

Thanks

Mangrove
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Re: Could finnish men leave the country 1939-40?

Post by Mangrove » 06 Mar 2022 11:11

According to 1938 degree on passports of Finnish citizens, the application for a passport must be accompanied by a certificate of impediments issued by the police authority of the place of residence. Technically, person having not gone through conscription could be denied passport.

The Finnish Defence Forces had been mobilised in October 1939, i.e. before the beginning of the Winter War. According to the pre-war legislation, anyone avoiding conscription could be prosecuted. Naturally, the person in question could escape the country with a valid passport. After the beginning of the Winter War, the was no need for a special degree since the Finnish Defence Forces had been already mobilised.

According to 1942 degree on the restriction of travelling abroad, the citizen must obtain a certificate from the State Provincial Office (lääninhallitus) stating that there is no obstacle to his or her trip. The certificate shall not be made unless the State Provincial Office considers the trip to be absolutely necessary.

Rene385273
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Re: Could finnish men leave the country 1939-40?

Post by Rene385273 » 06 Mar 2022 12:51

Thank you Mangrove. Do you know if there was any age differentiation?

Ex. Marianne Junila describes in "Wars on the Home Front" (page 208) that the army numbered 350,000 men during the Winter War, when men aged 40-44 were also called up. Could men in the age of 45 and above be characterized as 'elderly'?
I mean: When children, women and the elderly fled to Sweden and Norway, what defined the elderly (men, primarily)? 45+?

My question is derived from the current situation in Ukraine, where men aged 18-60 are not allowed to leave the country. Based on comparisons, I was interested to know how Finland handled the situation in 1939-40.

Mangrove
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Re: Could finnish men leave the country 1939-40?

Post by Mangrove » 06 Mar 2022 13:35

Rene385273 wrote:
06 Mar 2022 12:51
I mean: When children, women and the elderly fled to Sweden and Norway, what defined the elderly (men, primarily)? 45+?
According to 1922 law on conscription, men from 17 to 52 years of age were eligible for military service as enlisted men. Reserve officers were eligible for military service for longer depending of their rank.

During the mobilisation of the Finnish Defence Forces in October 1939, healthy enlisted men and non-commissioned officers up to 40 years of age (born 1899-1900) were eligible to be called to duty. The same limit for officers was 60 years of age (born 1879-1880). At the beginning of the Continuation War in June 1941, enlisted men up to 46 years of age (born 1895-1896) were called to duty, although most of the ones born before 1900 were discharged later that year or during early 1942.

During pre-war conscription, men had been classified according to their health to following service classes. Only classes A and B were called to duty between 1939 and 1945.

A I/II (healthy, fit for front line duty),
B I/II (minor problem, fit for rear line duty)
C (exemption from peacetime service)
D (exemption from peacetime and wartime service) and
E (to be inspected later).

Seppo Koivisto
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Re: Could finnish men leave the country 1939-40?

Post by Seppo Koivisto » 06 Mar 2022 13:38

Every Finn between 18-59 years of age was also obliged to work directly or indirectly promoting national defense. Exempted were fosters of young children and those exempted from military service.
https://hybrislehti.net/new-page-3

Rene385273
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Re: Could finnish men leave the country 1939-40?

Post by Rene385273 » 06 Mar 2022 15:33

Thanks Mangrove and Seppo Koivisto.

Seppo you mention every Finn between the age of 18-59. Was it not all Finnish citizens between the age of 15-64 according to the työvelvollisuuslaki?
Does any one of you know when this special Work Responsibility Act was introduced?

Seppo Koivisto
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Re: Could finnish men leave the country 1939-40?

Post by Seppo Koivisto » 06 Mar 2022 18:14

The law was introduced in June 1939 and it was applied during the mobilization in October 1939. It was then 18-59 years, today it is 18-68 years, maybe it was 18-64 sometimes after the war.

Seppo Koivisto
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Re: Could finnish men leave the country 1939-40?

Post by Seppo Koivisto » 06 Mar 2022 22:49

70 000 Finnish children without accompanying parents were evacuated from Finland to Sweden, Norway and Denmark during the Winter War and the Continuation War. But 56 000 people were evacuated to Sweden during the Lapland war in September-October 1944 due to the German scorched earth tactics.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finnish_war_children

Esa K
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Re: Could finnish men leave the country 1939-40?

Post by Esa K » 07 Mar 2022 23:54

Rene385273 wrote:
06 Mar 2022 09:55
Dear members

Does anyone know if there were any Finnish laws that prescribed 'combat-capable' men (for example, at a specific age 18-60 years) were not allowed to leave/flee the country as fugitive during the Winter War 1939-40?

Thanks
Just, may I ask, why do you ask about this now?

regards

Esa K

Rene385273
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Re: Could finnish men leave the country 1939-40?

Post by Rene385273 » 08 Mar 2022 13:12

Seppo Koivisto wrote:
06 Mar 2022 18:14
The law was introduced in June 1939 and it was applied during the mobilization in October 1939. It was then 18-59 years, today it is 18-68 years, maybe it was 18-64 sometimes after the war.
So was it 18 or 15?

In Marianne Junilas "Wars on the Home Front - Mobilazation, Economy and Everyday Experiences" (p. 191-232) it states the age of 15. "(...) a special work responsibility act (työvelvollisuuslaki) was enacted to ensure the availability and sufficiency of the workforce. All Finnish citizens, male and female, between 15 and 64 years of age were obliged to work in the war industry, agriculture and forestry or in other fields crucial for national defense. Only women with children under six years of age were not subjected to the obligation." (p. 208)

Thank you for your question Esa K. It's mentioned above.

Seppo Koivisto
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Re: Could finnish men leave the country 1939-40?

Post by Seppo Koivisto » 08 Mar 2022 14:02

In the 1939 law it was between 18-59 ("not 60"). In 1942 the law was changed and 18-54 were generally obliged to work and 15-17 and 55-64 were restricted obliged to work (120 days/year).

https://helda.helsinki.fi/handle/10138/276966
https://www.savonsanomat.fi/paakirjoitu ... de/2717478

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