Saturday, December 05, 2009

Field Marshal Mannerheim and Finland's Independence

This photograph is in the Public domain

On December 6th Finland celebrates her 92nd Independence Day. This week seventy years ago Soviet Russia attacked Finland without declaring a war. This widely condemned aggression became known as the Finnish Winter War. Mannerheim's role was paramount for tiny Finland in getting her independence in 1917 and maintaining it during the WWII when fighting against a giant but brutal super nation. Marshal Mannerheim served also as the President of Republic in 1944-46.

A Finnish author wrote a novel "My grandma and Mannerheim". My junction with Mannerheim and Finnish military history happened several times during the past decade when participating in Otava jazz camp and Happy Jazz Festival. The camp accommodation is in Otava Junior College's dormitory where Field Marshal's headquarters were located during the months of the Winter War. Mannerheim's humble office is still maintained in the dormitory as a small scale museum. From 1941 the Army HQ was again located in St. Michael.

Otava is nowadays a borough in the town of St. Michael in Finland. I was directed to a blog by three young St. Michael authors: Mannerheim Darkroom: The statue issue. Apparently there was a fuzz in the town about fairly recent relocation of Mannerheim's statue to a more visible location. I could not help writing a few personal comments.
Happy Independence Day,


Rana Sinha said...

He was quite a charismatic character, totally in a different league than leaders today.

My granny once cooked (meatballs) for him and told us the story.

Anonymous said...

nice post. thanks.