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The Finnish Patriotic People's Movement, Isänmaallinen kansanliike (usually abbreviated to IKL), was the successor to the nationalist and anti-communist Lapua Movement. It existed from 1932 to 1944 and had an ideology similar to its predecessor, except that IKL participated in elections — with limited success.

Contents

Formation

The IKL was founded at a conference on 5 June 1932 as a continuation of the Lapua Movement.[1] The three major fonding members were Herman Gummerus, Vilho Annala and Erkki Räikkönen.[2] Lapua leader Vihtori Kosola was imprisoned for his part in the Mäntsälä rebellion at the time of formation but the leadership was officially kept in reserve for him and other leading rebels, notably Annala and Bruno Salmiala, were involved in the formation of IKL.[3]

Structure

The IKL uniform was a black shirt with blue tie, inspired by the Italian fascists.[4] Ideologically, IKL was ardently nationalist and anti-Communist, whilst also endorsing anti-Semitism, an aggressive foreign policy and hostility towars the Swedish language.[5] Many of its leaders were priests or participants of the mainly Ostrobothnian Pietist movement called Herännäisyys. Its manifested purpose was to be the Christian-moral conscience of the parliament. A more hard-line tendency was also active, centred on Bruno Salmiala.[6]

The IKL had its own youth organization, called Sinimustat (Blue-blacks), members of which were trained in combat[7]. It was led by Elias Simojoki, a charismatic priest.[8] Sinimustat were banned in 1936 (although they were immediately reformed as Mustapaidat ('Blackshirts')).

Relationship to mainstream politics

IKL participated in parliamentary elections. In 1933 its election list was pooled with the National Coalition Party (Kokoomus), and got 14 seats out of 200.[9] Kokoomus collapsed from 42 to 18 seats. After the collapse, Juho Kusti Paasikivi was elected chairman of Kokoomus. He converted his party to the voice of big business and as such had no interest in the direct action tactics of IKL, and thus weeded out the most outspoken IKL sympathizers from the party.[10]

IKL came under increasing scrutiny from government and was subject to two laws designed to arrest its progress. In 1934 a law passed allowing the suppression of propaganda which brought government or constitution into contempt and this was used against the movement, whilst the following year a law banning political uniforms and private uniformed organisations came in, seriously impacting on the Sinimustat in particular.[11]

IKL kept its 14 seats in the elections of 1936 but was weakened by the overwhelming win for the social democrat-agrarian coalition of Toivo Mikael Kivimäki.[12] The strong new government soon moved against the IKL, with Urho Kekkonen, then Minister of the Interior, bring legal proceedings against the movement late in 1938. The courts did not feel that there were sufficient grounds to allow for a banning however.[13] Despite this the prosperity experienced under Kivimäki's government hit the IKL and in the 1939 elections they managed only 8 seats.[14] Strangely Kekkonen was one of two leading government opponents of the IKL who would later go on to serve as presidents of Finland, the other being Juho Kusti Paasikivi.

Final years

The Winter War, and particularly the Moscow Peace, were seen by IKL and its sympathizers as the ultimate proof of the parliamentary government's failed foreign policy. After the Winter War, Finland's foreign policy was drastically changed, by and large to correspond with that of IKL, and Annala was even included in the Cabinet where all parties of the parliament were present at December 1940. The price of this recognition however was an end to IKL attacks on the system and as such an effective end to the very reason it had support.[15] After the initial enthusiasm of the Continuation War in 1941 waned during the first winter, IKL wasn't included in Edwin Linkomies' cabinet in spring 1943.

In the aftermath of the Continuation War, IKL was banned, on the insistence of the Soviet Union, four days after the armistice between Finland and the Soviet Union was signed 19 September 1944.[16]

The IKL initials returned to the far right political scene in 1993 with the foundation of the Isänmaallinen Kansallis-Liitto by Matti Järviharju, but it is politically insignificant.

See also

References

  1. ^ A.F. Upton, 'Finland', S.J Woolf, Fascism in Europe, London, 1981, p. 215
  2. ^ Philip Rees, Biographical Dictionary of the Extreme Right Since 1890, 1990, p. 11
  3. ^ Upton, p. 215
  4. ^ Upton, p. 215
  5. ^ Upton, p. 215
  6. ^ Rees, p. 342
  7. ^ Upton, p. 215
  8. ^ Rees
  9. ^ Upton, p. 217
  10. ^ Upton, p. 218
  11. ^ Upton, p. 218
  12. ^ Upton, p. 218
  13. ^ Upton, p. 219
  14. ^ Upton, p. 220
  15. ^ Upton, p. 221
  16. ^ Upton, p. 222
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