Helsingin yliopisto


Helsingin yliopiston verkkojulkaisut

Helsingin yliopisto, Helsinki 2006

Juutalaisvastaisuus suomalaisissa aikakauslehdissä ja kirjallisuudessa 1918-1944

Jari Hanski

Väitöskirja, huhtikuu 2006.
Helsingin yliopisto, valtiotieteellinen tiedekunta, yhteiskuntahistorian laitos, poliittinen historia.

Anti-Semitism existed in Finland during the whole period covered by this study. The immoral acts associated with Jews in the articles were mostly regarded as universal habits, qualities and/or modes of action, that is, unconnected with any particular Finnish Jew.

Researchers have tried to explain anti-Semitism in several ways. The theory of Jews as outsiders has been a popular explanation as well as xenophobia, chimerical anti-Semitism and the socio-economic models.

The main sources of this study have been over 400 Finnish periodicals and magazines, literature and text books published between 1918 and 1944. This vast number of magazines includes those of the army and the civil guard, religion, humour and the papers of the Finnish extreme right.

One can see a distinct foreign and especially German influence in the subjects and phraseology of Finnish anti-Semitic writings between 1918 and 1944. Several known Finnish anti-Semitic writers had some kind of link with Germany. Some Finnish organisations and societies were openly anti-Semitic during this period.

There had been cycles in the activity of anti-Semitic writing in Finland, obvious peaks appearing in 1918-1919, 1929-1931, 1933-1938 and 1942-1944. The reason for the 1918-1919 activity was the civil rights which were granted to the Jews in Finland, and the Russian Bolshevik revolution. The worldwide depression from 1929 to 1932 seem to be the reason for new anti-Semitic writing activity. The rise of National Socialism in Germany and the influence this phenomenon had in Finland was the reason for the peak during 1933-1938. During the continuation war 1942-1944 National Socialist Germany was fighting side-by-side with Finland and their anti-Semitic propaganda found easier access to Finland.

Of the 433 magazines, journals and newspapers which were used in this study, 71 or 16.4 per cent had at least one article that can be identified as anti-Semitic; especially the magazines of national socialists and other extreme right parties were making anti-Semitic annotations. There were about 50 people known to have written anti-Semitic articles. At least half of these known writers had studied at the university, including as many as 10 priests. Over and above these, there was an even larger number of people who wrote under a pseudonym.

The material used suggested that anti-Semitism was not very popular in Finland between 1918 and 1944. Anti-Semitic articles appeared mostly in the magazines of the extreme right, but their circulation was not very large. A proof of the slight influence of these extreme right anti-Semitic ideas is that, beside the tightening of policy towards Jewish immigrants in 1938 and the handing over of eight of these refugees to Germany in 1942, the official policy of Finland never became anti-Semitic.

As was stated before, despite the cycles in the number of writings, there does not appear to have been any noticeable change in public opinion. One must also remember that most Finns had not at that period actually met a Jew. The material used suggests that between 1918 and 1944 the so-called "Jewish question" was seemingly unimportant for most Finns and their attitude to Jews and Jewishness can be described as neutral.

The title page of the publication

Julkaisu on tekijänoikeussäännösten alainen. Teosta voi lukea ja tulostaa henkilökohtaista käyttöä varten. Käyttö kaupallisiin tarkoituksiin on kielletty.

© Helsingin yliopisto 2006

Viimeksi päivitetty 04.04.2006

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