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9 The War of Liberation, the Civil Guards, and the Veterans’ Union: Public Memory in the Interwar Period

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Chapter Summary

During the interwar period, the Finnish Civil War was remembered every year in all the parishes and towns of the country. Characteristic of the official public memory was the total hegemony of the interpretation of the victors: the War of Liberation. The successful establishment of the paramilitary Civil Guards movement and its female counterpart the Lotta Svärd organization were essential for the formation of an intensive and extensive commemorative movement. The Civil Guards acted symbolically and during the first post-war years also practically as a resumption of the White Army; they actually hindered a full-scale demobilization of the White front. As guardian of the legacy of the Whites, the Guards militarized and standardized the public memory and cemented the narrative of the Whites. The remembrance culture of the War of Liberation was affected both by a memory boom that focused on the individual and the social aspects of the soldiers.

Keywords: Civil Guards; Finnish Civil War; interwar period; Liberation; White Army



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