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Ekenäs universitet – där inbördeskriget inte slutade 1918

Ekenäs universitet – där inbördeskriget inte slutade 1918

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Author: Sture Lindholm & Cecilia Toivanen

Pages: 288 pages
Binding type: Hardcover book
Year of publication: 2022

The forced labor facility in Ekenäs became Finland's largest prison in the 1920s. After the tragic prison camp summer of 1918, which left behind Finland's largest mass grave on the ridge outside today's Nylands brigade, the political prison was filled in the 1920s with convicted communists. Here, an underground communist college for would-be revolutionaries eventually developed, who, with the help of the exiled communist leadership in Moscow, continued the class struggle in various forms of resistance against the prison leadership. For some of the "students", their careers ended in top positions in the Finnish government, such as ambassadors, trade union leaders or ministers; others met a bitter end in Stalin's Gulag.


"Tammisaaren yliopisto" is a concept in Finnish political history, especially well known in left-wing circles. On the local level in Ekenäs, the name Ekenäs University is a completely unknown concept - and few people know that Dragsvik was Finland's largest prison in the 1920s and 1930s. The civil war did not end here in 1918 – it was continued by the new communist inmates who, convicted of political crimes, were sent here behind the barbed wire fence in Dragsvik throughout the 1920s. In two repetitions, pretty much the entire far-left parliamentary group had to start their "studies" here.


On the basis of painstaking source and archival studies, historians Sture Lindholm and Cecilia Toivanen open up new perspectives on Finland's unknown – partly silenced – history of the 1920s and bear witness to the republic's difficult first decade.

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