Finland had declared independence in December 1917, and this had been supported by the Soviets, who had encouraged self-determination and secession in a declaration mentioned in the previous exhibit’s caption. In January 1918, the Finnish Civil War started as the Finnish Reds fought the Finnish Whites for control of the new state, with Soviet and German support respectively. In May 1918, the White forces took their final victory, although Finnish independence was undermined by the German control that remained effectively in place until the end of World War One.
The Swede Henning Söderhjelm was a psychologist as well as a writer and his introduction to the study of the “most ignominious and bloodiest episode in the history of Finland”, he explains that the book aims to provide a psychology of the Red movement and not a historical account of the war. The Library’s copy of the English translation was donated in 1920 by the Finnish Legation.
The Red insurrection in Finland in 1918 / Henning Söderhjelm (1919) 9537.c.129