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F

INNISH EFFORTS TO PROMOTE CULTURAL RELATIONS WITH ROMANIA DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR

 

Kari Alenius

University of Oulu, E-mail: kari.alenius@oulu.fi

 

Acknowledgements

This paper is based on the presentation made at the Fifth international conference on Baltic and Nordic Studies in Romania A piece of culture, a culture of peace, re-imaging European communities in the North Sea, Baltic Sea and Black Sea regions, hosted by Valahia University of Târgovişte and the Romanian Association for Baltic and Nordic Studies, August 17-19, 2014. Supported by EEA Grants, contract no 4/22.07.2014.

 

Abstract:

This paper analyzes intercultural relations between Finland and Romania during the Second World War. The main focus is on the Finnish viewpoints. The aim of the analysis is to explain why the Finnish activities at this field of life were of a certain kind.Intercultural relations between Finland and Romania do not form a separate field of study, but are closely intertwined with the two countries’ mutual relationship on the whole. At the same time, this interrelation was dependent on the overall situation in World War II, with its shifting strategies.

Existing Finnish archive material on cultural cooperation clearly indicates that, in terms of advancing this relationship, Romania was clearly the more active party throughout. In Finland, the group of activists favouring Romania was smaller and more heterogeneous, and the government’s stance in particular was hesitant.The explanation for this Finnish restraint lies in Finland’s special relationship with Hungary.The Finns hesitated to implement Romanian initiatives in the field of culture, fearing that they would jeopardise relations with Hungary.

Despite the Finnish government’s hesitation regarding the development of cultural relations with Romania, there were also advocates of closer cultural ties. A key figure in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was envoy Eduard Hjalmar Palin. Another significant player was the Finnish-Romanian Association, which commenced activities in January 1943 and continued until the summer of 1944.

 

 

Rezumat:

Acest articol analizează rela?iile interculturale dintre Finlanda ?i România din timpul celui de-Al Doilea Război Mondial. Punctul central îl reprezintă punctele de vedere finlandeze. Scopul analizei este acela de a explica de ce activită?ile finlandeze din acest areal au fost de un anumit tip. Rela?iile interculturale dintre Finlanda ?i România nu formează o arie separată de studiu, ci sunt legate indisolubil de rela?iile reciproce dintre cele două state în ansamblul lor.

Materialul de arhivă finlandez existent, care abordează cooperarea culturală, indică foarte clar faptul că, în ceea ce prive?te avansul acestei rela?ii, România a reprezentat partea mai activă pe tot parcursul lor. În Finlanda, grupul de activi?ti care favorizau România era mai mic ?i mai eterogen, iar atitudinea guvernului era ezitantă. Explica?ia acestei reticen?e o constituie rela?ia specială a acestui stat cu Ungaria. Finlandezii au ezitat să implementeze ini?iativele române?ti din domeniul culturii, temându-se că ar putea pune în pericol rela?ia cu Ungaria.

În ciuda nehotărârii guvernului finlandez în ceea ce prive?te dezvoltarea rela?iilor culturale cu România, au existat apărători ai unor legături mai apropiate. O figură centrală în Ministerul Afacerilor Externe a fost agentul diplomatic Eduard Hjalmar Palin. Un alt actor important a fost, de asemenea, Asocia?ia Finlandezo-Română, care ?i-a început activitatea în ianuarie 1943 ?i a continuat-o până în vara anului 1944.

 

Keywords:Romania, Finland, cultural relations, foreign policy, Second World War, Finnish-Romanian Association


14.AleniusK.pdf

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