Publication date
February 2016
Format info
504 pages

Fascism in Finland. The Heralds of the Black Dawn

Suomalaiset fasistit. Mustan sarastuksen airuet


“The language of the gun is the only global language, much clearer than Esperanto or any of that other gibberish. So oil your rifle and polish your boots.”

This pioneering work explores the nature and manifestations of fascism in Finland, as well as the ways in which the fascist movement had an outsized influence on Finnish society in the years 1918-1944.

Over the summer of 2015, the word ‘fascism’ rose to prominence in discussions of European society and politics, and Finland was no exception. As part of that conversation, links were sought between the present and the past. In this work, historians accessibly and dispassionately survey the role of fascism in Finnish history. The book covers individuals, movements and impacts.

The authors reveal how the fascist philosophy spread clandestinely behind the backs of public fascists, receiving support and funding from individuals in positions of business and societal power. The work also reveals the moments when the country genuinely approached the brink of fascism. It places Finland within the historical context of European fascism.


Awards and nominations

State Award for Public Information, 2017


Rights sold

Estonian (Argo)
Swedish (Lind & Co.)


Reading material

Finnish edition


Praise for the work

“It’s only February, but the year’s most important nonfiction book has already been published.” – Tapio Niemi, Länsi-Suomi

“Fascism in Finland is a work of unusually sharp-edged historical research.” – Simopekka Virkkula, Aamulehti

“The present situation contains elements that may lead to similar extremist acts.” – Tellervo Koivisto, Demokraatti

“This brilliant new book exposes a forgotten chapter of Finnish political history … [It] shows how a break in the body of historical literature prevents us from recognising new shoots of the same [radical patriotism] in our own time and age.” – Tuomas Rantanen, Voima


Praise from the international publishers

“There is a time for everything, also in historical studies. The challenge of a historian is to make a point forcefully enough to be able to influence public discussion and historical understanding. The subject of Fascism – not as a general topic but as a domestic, concrete, historical phenomenon – is unfortunately topical again, not only in Finland and in Estonia but in the whole of Europe. This book demonstrates how thin the borderline is between different, sometimes at first sight even legitimate-looking trends, and ideologies. The book is of particular interest to the Estonian readers due to its insight into the co-operation between Finnish and Estonian radical nationalist movements which compels to re-evaluate even the most deeply-held convictions.” – Andres Adamson, Doctor of History and Editor-in-Chief, Argo, Estonia