An Outside View/Léargas Taobh Amuigh
2016-03-01 15:30:08 -
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1929

Leabhar nua faoi fhaisisteachas na Fionlainne ag tarraingt calláin

 

Panu Höglund

 

Ag tús mhí Feabhra tháinig leabhar nua staire i gcló san Fhionlainn – stair an Fhaisisteachais Fhionlannaigh. Ba iad na staraithe seanbhunaithe Oula Silvennoinen, Marko Tikka, agus Aapo Roselius a scríobh í, agus is é is teideal di ná Suomalaiset fasistit – mustan sarastuksen airuet (Na Faisistigh Fhionlannacha – Réamhtheachtairí na Camhaoire Duibhe). 

Tá an faisisteachas ag dul i dtreise ar fud na hEorpa ar na saolta deireanacha seo, agus mar sin tá sé nádúrtha go bhfuil na staraithe féin ag cur suime i bhforbairt na hidé-eolaíochta seo nuair a bhí sí i mbarr a holcais an chéad lá riamh. Scéal eile áfach gur chaith an leabhar nua a scáil ar Jussi Niinistö, an tAire Cosanta a scríobh saothar taighde faoin ábhar céanna sula ndeachaigh sé le polaitíocht. Rud follasach é gur polaiteoir Fíor-Fhionlannach é Niinistö – an rud is cóngaraí don Fhaisisteach i saol parlaiminteach na tíre i láthair na huaire. Is éard a deir údair an leabhair nua go ndearna Niinistö iarracht an faobhar a bhaint den fhaisisteachas Fhionlannach.

I dtús na nóchaidí bhí Jussi Niinistö ina mhac léinn staire, agus é gníomhach i ndream beag de radacaigh eite deise, Kansallinen Kulttuuririntama – an Fronta Náisiúnta Cultúrtha. Ní raibh mórán den ghníomhaíocht chultúrtha ag baint leis an ‘bhFronta’, nó ba í an idé-eolaíocht fhaisisteach an chloch ba mhó ar a bpaidrín. Bhí a iris féin ag an bhFronta, mar atá, Valkoinen Rintama, is é sin, An Fronta Bán: Is deacair a rá cé acu a bhí an cine geal i gceist acu nó na Gardaí Bána a throid i gcogadh cathartha na Fionlainne sa bhliain 1918, ach is dócha gur ceadmhach dúinn an dá chiall a bhaint as.

Pé scéal é chuaigh ábhar bolscaireachta i gcló ar an iris san am a tháinig ó pheann Niinistö, agus é ag tabhairt le fios go raibh sé ag adhradh ghluaiseacht na bhFaisisteach Fionlannach, Lapuan Liike ‘Gluaiseacht Lapua’ mar a thugtaí uirthi ar dtús – tagairt a bhí ann do cheantar tuaithe Lapua, áit ar tháinig an ghluaiseacht ar an bhfód an chéad uair – nó Isänmaallinen Kansanliike, Gluaiseacht Thírghráúil an Phobail, mar a tugadh ar an ngluaiseacht nuair a cuireadh cuma an pháirtí pholaitiúil uirthi.

Nuair a bhí Gluaiseacht Lapua faoi lán an tseoil, ba nós le lucht a leanúna ‘cleas muilu a imirt’ orthu siúd nach raibh ag aontú le cuspóirí na Gluaiseachta ar gach pointe. Ba é ba chiall le ‘cleas Muilu’ ná duine a fhuadach agus a thabhairt a fhad le teorainn na Fionlainne agus an Aontais Shóivéadaigh – le tabhairt le fios dóibh gurbh é an tAontas Sóivéadach a bhfíor-thír dhúchais. Ba mhinic a tugadh greidimíní don duine a fuadaíodh, agus fuair triúr acu bás, ar a laghad, de dheasca na drochíde. Tugadh ‘cleas Muilu’ nó muilutus ar an nós seo, ó bhí beirt dheartháracha dar shloinne Muilu ar na fuadaitheoirí ba mhó den chineál seo.

Is é an leagan den scéal a bhí ag Niinistö sa leabhar s’aige ná nach raibh i gceist leis na fuadaigh seo ach ”greann tuaithe” nó cleas magaidh. Thairis sin chuir sé béim ar an bhfrith-chumannachas, seachas ar an bhfaisisteachas, mar inneall idé-eolaíochta don ghluaiseacht. Bhí cuid áirithe den cheart aige: ba é an cumannachas agus a bhaint leis an Aontas Sóivéadach ba mhó a chuir imní ar lucht leanúna na gluaiseachta ar dtús. Nuair a cuireadh cosc ar an gcumannachas, áfach, níor tháinig deireadh leis an ngluaiseacht: thosaigh sí ag imirt ‘cleas Muilu’ ar dhaoine nach raibh ina gCumannaigh de réir aon sainmhíniú. Sa bhliain 1930 fuadaíodh Kaarlo Juho Ståhlberg, iar-Uachtarán na tíre agus polaiteoir de chuid Kansallinen Edistyspuolue nó Páirtí Náisiúnta an Fhoráis (páirtí liobrálach buirgéiseach) – fear a raibh an-mheas ag an gcuid is mó den tseanbhunaíocht air.

Mar nóta beag pearsanta, is dócha nach miste domsa a rá go raibh a lán scéalta uafáis le hinsint ag mo sheanathair féin faoi laethanta Ghluaiseacht Lapua. Bhí seisean ina pholaiteoir áitiúil de chuid pháirtí na bhfeirmeoirí (Maalaisliitto, Aontas na Tuaithe), agus rinne lucht na gluaiseachta iarracht é a fhuadach chomh maith le duine, ach ó bhíodh sé ag iompar piostail san am le troid a chur ar a shon féin, thit an drioll ar an dreall ag na fuadaitheoirí.

Mar sin, níor theorannaigh an Ghluaiseacht Lapua í féin don fhrith-chumannachas. B’fhearr a rá gur chuir sí cumannachas i leith na mbuirgéiseach measartha féin, agus is ar a leithéid sin d’iompraíocht a aithnítear an faisisteachas. Ina dhiaidh sin féin d’fhéach an tAire Cosanta, go héadóchasach aiféiseach, leis an náiriú a sheachaint, agus é ag cur i leith Silvennoinen, Tikka agus Roselius go raibh siad ag iarraidh “tábhacht stairiúil na gluaiseachta” a shéanadh, toisc go ndearna lucht a leanúna ainghníomhartha foréigneacha. Ní raibh mórán maithe sa chosaint seo, áfach: mar a dúirt an staraí cogaidh Jussi Jalonen ina fhreagra féin, ba iad na hainghníomhartha sin an t-aon tábhacht stairiúil a bhain le Gluaiseacht Lapua riamh, agus má chuaigh cuimhne na gluaiseachta greamaithe i stair na Fionlainne, ba é ba chúis leis gur thug sé an foréigean isteach i bpolaitíocht a linne sa tír.

Is éard a dúirt Niinistö freisin ná go raibh údair an leabhair ag cur chaighdeán morálta ár linne i bhfeidhm ar imeachtaí stairiúla. Ba é Jussi Jalonen a chuir ina thost é faoin bpointe seo fosta: luaigh sé go raibh príomh-idé-eolaí Aontas na Tuaithe, Santeri Alkio, go tréan in aghaidh an chumannachais, agus é díreach chomh diúltach céanna i dtaobh Ghluaiseacht Lapua.

Mar sin, níorbh é tuiscint an Aire Chosanta ar stair a thíre a dhearscnaigh thar an bhfírinne sa deireadh, ó bhí na fíorstaraithe sásta an leagan den scéal a insint atá ag teacht le cuimhní cinn m’athara mhór – le cuimhní cinn na n-aithreacha móra go léir a bhí thíos le feachtas sceimhlitheoireachta Ghluaiseacht Lapua fadó.

Ach anois, samhlaígí dá rithfeadh le polaiteoir sa Ghearmáin an páirtí Naitsíoch a chosaint mar a chosain Niinistö Gluaiseacht Lapua – mar ghluaiseacht thábhachtach stairiúil ‘nár mharaigh ach cúpla Giúdach’. An mairfeadh sé i bhfad ag polaiteoireacht ina dhiaidh sin, meas tú?

 

Scríbhneoir Gaeilge ón bhFionlainn é Panu Petteri Höglund.

 

 

A new book about Finnish fascism making a stir

 

Panu Höglund

 

At the beginning of February, a new book of Finnish history was published – the history of Finnish fascism. It was written by the established historians Oula Silvennoinen, Marko Tikka, and Aapo Roselius, and its title is Suomalaiset fasistit – mustan sarastuksen airuet (Finnish Fascists – the Harbingers of a Black Dawn). 

Fascism is gathering strength all over Europe these days, and thus it’s natural that even historians would take a new interest in the development of this ideology back when it came to haunt us for the first time. It’s another story, though, that this new book casts a shadow over Jussi Niinistö, the Minister of Defence who wrote a scholarly work about this very subject when he hadn’t yet entered politics. Obviously he is a True Finn politician, the nearest thing to a fascist in Finnish political life these days. But the authors of the new book suggest that Niinistö has tried to belittle the threat of fascism in Finland.

In the early 1990s, Jussi Niinistö was a young student of history active in a small group of right-wing radicals called Kansallinen Kulttuuririntama, or the National Culture Front. The ‘Front’ was not much about culture, it was mostly an ideological fascist organisation. They published their own fanzine called Valkoinen Rintama, or The White Front: it is not exactly clear whether this meant the white-skinned race or the White Guards that fought in the Finnish Civil War in 1918, but I guess both interpretations are allowed.

Anyway, the fanzine published propaganda material written by Niinistö, who was quite open about his admiration for the Finnish fascist movement known as Lapuan Liike, or the Lapua Movement as it was called originally. Later, when it constituted itself as a political party, it was called Isänmaallinen Kansanliike, the Patriotic People’s Movement.

In the heady days of the Lapua Movement, its followers used to do what was called ‘Muilutus’ with those who didn’t fully and completely agree with its aims. Muilutus means kidnapping a person and taking him in a car to the border of the Soviet Union, implying that this was his real homeland. Often the victims were severely beaten, and at least three of them died from the beating. The word ‘Muilutus’ was based on the surname of the two Muilu brothers who were among the most enthusiastic kidnappers.

What Niinistö suggested in his book was that these kidnappings were just a joke – “rugged countryside humour”. Moreover, he emphasised the movement as anti-communist, rather than a fascist one. He was partly right: the movement originated as a reaction to communism and its Soviet connection. However, when communism was prohibited in Finland, the movement didn’t fold – it started to ‘Muilu’ even people who were nowhere near being communists. In 1930, they kidnapped Kaarlo Juho Ståhlberg, the ex-president of the country and a politician of Kansallinen Edistyspuolue, the liberal-bourgeois National Party of Progress – a person who was quite universally honoured by the establishment.

As a small personal note, I guess I am allowed to mention that my granddad also had his horror stories from the days of the Lapua Movement. He was a local politician active in Maalaisliitto, or the Agrarian Union, ie the farmers’ party. The movement tried even to kidnap him, but as he never went out without a pistol and was thus able to fight back if needed, the kidnappers lost courage.

Thus, the Lapua Movement never confined itself to anti-communism. It’d be better to say that it accused even the moderate bourgeois of communism, and that’s precisely the kind of behaviour that defines fascism. The Defence Minister made a laughable and desperate attempt to save face by censoring Silvennoinen, Tikka and Roselius for ”trying to ignore the historic importance of the movement” by focusing on the violence of its supporters. This defence didn’t help much, though. As war historian Jussi Jalonen stated in his riposte to Niinistö, the violent misdeeds were about the only historic importance there was to the Lapua Movement, and if the memory of the movement stuck in Finnish history, the reason was that it introduced violence into contemporary politics in Finland.

Niinistö also said that the authors of the book were applying modern morals to historic events. Jussi Jalonen silenced him even about this, pointing out that the main ideologue of the Agrarian Union, Santeri Alkio, who was very anti-communist himself, also resisted the influence of the Lapua Movement.

Thus it was not the Defence Minister’s understanding of our country’s history that prevailed over truth, because real historians were happy to tell the story that agreed with my grandfather’s memories – with all those grandfathers’ memories who were victimised by the terror campaign of the Lapua Movement. 

But now, imagine if a German politician defended the Nazi Party the way Niinistö defended the Lapua Movement – as an important movement in German history which ‘maybe killed a couple of Jews’. I wonder if he would be allowed to go on in politics after that?

 

Panu Petteri Höglund is a Finnish writer of Irish expression.

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