Luvattu maa. Suur-Suomen unelma ja unohdus [The promised land. The dream of Greater Finland, and how it was forgotten]

26 September 2014 | Mini reviews, Reviews

luvattumaaLuvattu maa. Suur-Suomen unelma ja unohdus
[The promised land. The dream of Greater Finland, and how it was forgotten]
Toim. [Ed. by] Sari Näre & Jenni Kirves
Helsinki: Johnny Kniga, 2014. 407 p.
ISBN 978-951-0-40295-5
€36.90, hardback

In the 1920s and 1930s Finland was powerfully influenced by the idea of a ​​Greater Finland which was also to include the Finno-Ugric peoples living on the Soviet side of the border – at least East Karelia, if not more. Right-wing nationalists in particular nourished a vision that had its roots in the idealistic ‘Karelianism’ of the nineteenth century. When during the Second World War in 1941 Finland ended up fighting the Soviet Union as an ally of Nazi Germany, and the Finnish army advanced far beyond the eastern border, for a short time many Finns even viewed a Greater Finland as a possibility. After Finland suffered defeat in the war there was a desire to forget both the embarrassing alliance with Nazi Germany and the frenzied nationalistic dreams of Greater Finland with their population resettlements and other plans. Not until the 1970s did anyone begin to study the subject in more depth. Five historians from a younger generation present a fascinating study of the Greater Finland idea and the attempts at its realisation, discussing, for example, the attitude to the war taken by women and the clergy, life at the front line, and propaganda, including its expression in literature.

Translated by David McDuff

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