leaflet

Discussions on the Winter War and Continuation War, the wars between Finland and the USSR.
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ernesto73
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Location: Russia. Karelia.

leaflet

Post by ernesto73 » 28 Apr 2011 19:21

in the attic of the old school had found a leaflet.
In principle, the meaning is clear to me, but I would like to learn more about her.
were still found different books and textbooks.
and the Finnish and Russian.
and a lot of scraps of newspapers and various securities.
wondering if anyone is going to show the photo.

Image
I apologize for my bad English.
I use the electronic translator.

Jagala
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Re: leaflet

Post by Jagala » 29 Apr 2011 11:09

As you probably know, there was a period in the history of independent Finland when manufacturing, selling, serving and drinking alcohol (stronger than 2%, i.e weak beer) was prohibited. The so call Prohibition lasted for almost thirteen years, from June 1, 1919 to April 5, 1932, before it was voted down (by 70% for abolishing the law) in a referendum held on December 29-30, 1931.

What you have is a voting ticket used in the referendum. The voter was supposed to mark his choice by crossing over the relevant square.

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skywarp
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Re: leaflet

Post by skywarp » 29 Apr 2011 22:59

Very neat. I know this is getting a little off topic for this forum, but did this prohibition lead to widespread illegal liquor operations and crime organizations like the US prohibition did about the same time?

Lotvonen
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Re: leaflet

Post by Lotvonen » 30 Apr 2011 07:22

Liquor smuggling operations and organizations, yes, but these crime organizations stuck to their business idea.
Must tell you a true story which describes the respect this law was given in the Finnish society.
An old ex-smuggler told in an interview in the 1980s how one day in the year 1930 his phone rung. It was the Chief of Police in Turku, who explained that the President of the Republic was going to entertain foreign guests in the Presidential Summer Residence Kultaranta (in Naantali, next to Turku), and he needed two liters of French brandy and another two liters of Scotch whisky. The Chief of Police knew this bootlegger and therefore asked for his services. The bootlegger was instructed to put the drinks in a leather case and bring them to the main police station, and mention that it was for the Chief. The bootlegger did that, and handing over his parcel he was told to come back next Monday. He did, and he got back his case, with the payment in it.

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JTV
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Re: leaflet

Post by JTV » 30 Apr 2011 08:24

As Lotvonen already mentioned, smuggling of alcohol became very common and organised. Luckily the organised crime born with bootlegging for all practical purposes dissolved once the prohibition ended. It has also been noted that the prohibition changed Finnish drinking habits and not in a good way - earlier much of the alcohol consumed in Finland had been beer, but now sprits replaced it (probably because smuggling beer wasn't profitable enough). I also have my suspicions that the Finnish attitude towards alcohol changed - during prohibition public intoxication was illegal, but it also showed that the intoxicated person was connected and had money.

While the prohibition might have looked good idea early on, it had zero chance of working with the cultural climate of those days. This was for the large part because the established social customs required use of alcohol in certain social situations. Even the government that had created the legislation for prohibition was routinely using alcohol, which the ushers of government house were delivering to it from the storage of forfeit alcohol.

Bootlegging was international business. Foreign ships loaded with spirits started appearing just outside Finnish territorial waters. Typically they stayed there, but sometimes also entered Finnish territorial waters to make unloading their cargo easier. Finnish bootleggers would mostly handle smuggling of the alcohol from these boats to the mainland with smaller boats. Bootlegging was big business, so the persons involved often had considerable resources for acquiring equipment. Even World War 1 era submarines were used for the purpose and the bootlegging business also inspired manufacturing of speed boats, which had been designed fast enough for the to have good chance of evading motor boats used by Finnish Customs.

Video showing Finnish speedboat build for bootlegging in year 1926:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hez3C8DyOtA

The subject also has some relation to World War 2.

Algoth Niska (sometimes referred as "King of bootleggers"), who was the most famous Finnish bootlegger, later turned his interests to smuggling Jews from Germany:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algoth_Niska

One of the main reasons why first VMV patrol boats were acquired for Finnish Navy was the need for this sort of boat (fast motor boat armed with 20-mm automatic cannon) for operations against bootleggers. They also proved highly successful in this role. For example:
- VMV 1: 19th of May 1931 it captured Czechoslovakian bootlegging ship Serpen off Märket lighthouse. The operation resulted confiscation of 122,000 litres of spirits (largest single confiscation during whole prohibition).
- VMV 2: 14th October 1933 it captured British bootlegging ships Atlantica and Omar. Once this had happened and its crew was about to start sailing Omar to Helsinki, twice the size of VMV-boat bootlegging motorboat S/S Rell approached and attempted twice ramming the patrol boat. In addition smugglers on board S/S Rell opened fire towards the patrol boat with pistols and two rifles, crew of the patrol boat returned fire with rifles and Bergmann-submachinegun, until the 20-mm automatic cannon got into action, at which the point the out-gunned smugglers decided to surrender.

VMV-boats were probably the most heavily used type of boats for Finnish Navy during World War 2. Armament originally acquired for these patrol boats was 20-mm Lahti L-34 automatic cannon (version II). This was the early design from which Aimo Lahti later developed also L-39 antitank-rifle, L-39/44 anti-aircraft rifle and 20 ItK/40 VKT anti-aircraft gun.

Jarkko

AndersG
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Re: leaflet

Post by AndersG » 25 May 2011 12:11

Algoth Niska (sometimes referred as "King of bootleggers"), who was the most famous Finnish bootlegger, later turned his interests to smuggling Jews from Germany:
This is described in his book: "Över Gröna Gränser" which is quite an entertaining read even if one cannot shake the feeling that it is somewhat "embellished".

Anne G,
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Re: leaflet

Post by Anne G, » 25 May 2011 14:32

A few years ago, I heard Martti Häikiö's (writer of Alko's history) lecture about referendum. The reason seems to have been that during the depression in the beginning of the 30ies the state urgently needed money. However, the result that was waited for was the second alternative, freeing only the milder alcoholic liquers.

When the result was for freeing all, Paavo Talvela was sent to Sweden to learn about their system (as an officer he was good at logistics). However, only cities had Alkos, and in a way probilition continued in the countryside (at that time, there wasn't so easy to travel 50 kilometers or more to the neares town).

klk793
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Re: leaflet

Post by klk793 » 02 Dec 2011 22:51

Does anyone know why these smugglers disappeared once prohibition was ended? For instance, American alcohol smugglers didn't disappear when prohibition ended, they just got involved in other illegal activities. What happened in Finland?

Jagala
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Re: leaflet

Post by Jagala » 03 Dec 2011 09:11

Smuggling didn't disappear overnight, it just faded away. The profit margin narrowed down and the risks became greater as the Coast Guard had faster and bigger boats. Smuggling had never been completely in the hands criminals or gang bosses. At sea (which was basically the sole route of smuggling) there were some big operators who ran ships or even small fleets, but on land the distribution relied on popular support and it was more of a home industry than a network of a crime syndicate.

Those who had became rich (or richer) during the prohibition were usually content to become respectable businessmen, while small time crooks tried their hands at whatever turned their way. Finland was a small county without any big cities, There was no big money to be made in illegal gambling or prostitution. Smuggling of tobacco and coffee etc continued but it was quite small scale.

(This is just my two cents' worth. There are plenty of studies about the prohibition, but it would seem Finnish historians have never asked the question you did (or if they have, they haven't followed it up)).

klk793
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Re: leaflet

Post by klk793 » 06 Dec 2011 17:45

Thanks! I'm researching organized crime and prohibition in general, and the Finnish case really stands out to me as pretty unique. It's hard to find information about in English though.

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