Dead martyrs and living leaders: the cult of the individual within Finnish communism

Twentieth Century Communism - ISSN 1758-6437
Volume 2009 Number 1

Dead martyrs and living leaders: the cult of the individual within Finnish communism
Tauno Saarela, pages -

Abstract

The efforts of the Finnish communist movement to select political leaders for veneration changed significantly over time. This article explores the process through which leading cadre were identified and promoted as ‘model’ communists between the 1920s and 1960s. It examines the grounds on which individuals from within the movement were selected; the attributes that the individuals were heralded as exemplifying; and the extent to which the specific (and often atypical) national conditions of Finland shaped the processes of selection and promotion. Early attempts strove to create communist exemplars from amongst the movement’s dead cadre (often stressing the state’s apparent complicity in their death). Later efforts sough to eulogise living communist leaders, notably Otto Ville Kuusinen, with the clear aim of encouraging the respect and obedience of party members towards the SKP leadership. As conditions demanded, Kuusinen’s status within the international communist movement or his national standing within Finland was promoted. In the 1950s and 1960s, pressure to move away from the ‘cult of the individual’ communist led to a downgrading of such endeavours. 

SORRY - you are not registered as being permitted online access to the full text of this article

You have the following options:

  1. If you are viewing this via an institution or academic library you can ask that your institution takes out a Subscription to this journal.
  2. If you already have a Personal Subscription please login below


    Forgotten your username / password? Click here to locate

  3. Purchase an annual Personal Subscription
    PRINT + DIGITAL personal subscription (£30 / year)
    DIGITAL personal subscription (£20 / year)
    A Personal Subscription provides immediate access not only to the single article you are seeking, but also to all past and future articles in this journal up to the expiry of your annual (calendar year) subscription.
  4. Purchase immediate access to this single article (UK£7.00) - Buy article Coming Soon

To cite this article
Tauno Saarela (2009) Dead martyrs and living leaders: the cult of the individual within Finnish communism, Twentieth Century Communism, 2009(1), -

Share this