American Finnish emigration to Soviet Karelia: bread, work and broken dreams

Twentieth Century Communism - ISSN 1758-6437
Volume 2014 Number 7

American Finnish emigration to Soviet Karelia: bread, work and broken dreams
Markku Kangaspuro pages -


In 1931-1934 some 6-7,000 Finns from the North America migrated to Soviet Karelia. Usually the reason of this Karelian Fever has interpreted as a result of the communist propaganda. Radical-left Finnish workers were misled by the promises of workers’ paradise. The perception is partly grounded but politically biased, mainly a result of the cold war narrations. The explanation underestimates the importance of socio-economic reasons. The attracting factor was not so much the Soviet Union as an ideological alternative to capitalism but the vision that it offers work and along it better living standard for migrants. Soviet-Karelia was chosen as a end point of migration for same reasons why Finns had moved to the North America. There lived big Finnish communities which made possible to manage life in Finnish language, move was easy and there was a demand for migrants skills and workforce. Less important were pushing factors in the North America. World depression, exceptional high unemployment rate among Finns and outlawing Communist organisations made the life of radical Finns difficult.

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 (£25 / 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
Markku Kangaspuro (2014) American Finnish emigration to Soviet Karelia: bread, work and broken dreams, Twentieth Century Communism, 2014(7), -

Share this