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The Making of a Barrier between Two Worlds : Finnicization on the Finno-Russian Border in the 1910s-20s

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Title: The Making of a Barrier between Two Worlds : Finnicization on the Finno-Russian Border in the 1910s-20s
Authors: Lähteenmäki, Maria Browse this author
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Slavic Research Center, Hokkaido University
Journal Title: Eurasia Border Review
Volume: 3
Issue: 1
Start Page: 33
End Page: 50
Abstract: An account and analysis from a Finnish viewpoint is given of the transformation of the multicultural, Russian-influenced border community of Terijoki into a "pure" Finnish area under the supervision of various government authorities. Situated only 32 km from St. Petersburg, Terijoki was Finland's principal frontier post on its boundary with Russia and symbolized the country's sovereignty and cultural integrity. Following the events of 1917, this boundary was projected on political, military and cultural grounds as a "border between two worlds", dividing the western races and cultures from those of the Slavs, the Lutheran religion from the Orthodox, the capitalist economic system from the socialist one and the Finnish national character from the Russian one. It has been customary to view Finland as a victim as far as its relationship with Russia or the Soviet Union is concerned, a small country that has had to adapt its internal and foreign policy to its situation as neighbour to a vast empire. This point of departure represents only one side of the coin, however. As is shown here, Finland practised a determined policy of ethnic cleansing in its border areas during the 1910s and 1920s.
Type: bulletin (article)
Appears in Collections:Eurasia Border Review > Volume 3, No. 1


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