1: Red Cross fund (issued in 1922)
2: Independence decennial (1) (1927)
3,4: Philatelic Exhibition in Helsinki (1928)
5-7: 700th Anniversary of city of Turku (2) (1929)
8-10: Red Cross fund (1930)
11: 1930 Airship Graf Zeppelin flight from Helsinki to Friedrichshafen (3)
12,13: Literary Society Centenary (1931)
14-16: 1931 Red Cross fund: views (4)
17: Finish stamp 75th anniversary (5) (1931)
18: Pro Filatelia (1931)
19-21: 1932 Red Cross fund: views (6)
22-24: 1933 Red Cross: bishops of city of Turku (7)
25: A. Kivi (8) birth centenary (1934)
26-28: National epic Kalevala (9) centenary (1935)
29-31: 1936 Red Cross fund: statesmen (10)
32-34: 1937 Red Cross fund: ships
35: C. Mannerheim (11) 70th birthday (1937)
1-3: 1934 Red Cross Fund (12)
4-6: 1935 Red Cross Fund (13)
was part of Sweden for over 600 years – from the Middle Ages to the beginning
of the 19th century. The wars fought between Sweden and Russia in the 18th century,
however, saw Sweden surrendering territory, and eventually in 1809 the entirety
of Finland to Russia. During Russian rule, Finland enjoyed the position of an
autonomous Grand Duchy.
On December 6, 1917., shortly after the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, the Finnish Parliament passed a declaration of independence, which separated Finland from Russia. From January to May 1918,, Finland experienced a brief but bitter civil war between “the reds”, a force mostly made up of landless rural and industrial workers, and “the whites”, representing the interests of the bourgeoisie and wealthy peasantry. The war ended in May 1918, once the whites had overcome the reds.
(2) Turku (Swedish: Abo) was founded in the 13th century and is the oldest and fifth largest city in Finland.
(3) The Graf Zeppelin airship visited Finland on 24 September 1930. Because of poor weather, it was unable to land at Helsinki airport, but it did manage to drop off and pick up mail by means of a rope. Finland marked the Zeppelin's visit with its only airmail stamp of the time: a 10 markka Saimaa lake definitive stamp overprinted "Zeppelin 1930".
(4) Stamps depict church in Hattula, Hameelinna castle and Viipuri castle.
the formation of the grand duchy under Russia, foreign mail to and from Finland
was routed through St Petersburg. In 1812 Finland's postal service was reorganized
on Russian lines and the first handstruck postal markings were introduced. These
were straight-line name stamps without a date and included the district name
in Russian (Cyrillic) letters. Similar types but using the Roman alphabet were
introduced in 1847. Stamped stationery was issued by Finland in 1845 and showed
the coat-of-arms of the duchy on the back flap.
First Finnish stamps were issued on 3 March 1856. They were typographed in the Finnish Treasury and pre-dated the issue of Russian stamps by two years. The currency was Russian, but this was changed to Finnish currency in 1866. Increasing Russian influence in Finland was reflected by the new designs in 1889. These were similar to previous designs, but had the name in Russian instead of Finnish. In 1891 stamps were printed in Russia at St Petersburg and Russian currency was reintroduced. This move was short-lived and in 1895 Finnish currency was finally adopted. On 20 July 1917 Finland declared its independence from Russia. First stamps for the independent country appeared on 1 October 1917.
(6) Stamps depict University of Helsinki library, Helsinki cathedral and Parliament building in Helsinki.
(7) Turku is the seat of the oldest diocese in Finland. Medieval bishops of the catholic church were also de facto secular leaders of the country until the end of the 13th century. Lutheran bishops were delegated to position of state officials. When Finland became a separate grand duchy, the then Bishop of Turku was elevated to archiepiscopal rank in 1817. Stamps depict catholic bishop Magnus II Tavast and lutheran bishops Mikael Agricola and Isacius Rothovius.
Aleksis Kivi, born Alexis Stenvall, (1834–1872) was a Finnish
author who wrote the first significant novel in the Finnish language, Seven
Brothers. Although Kivi was among the very earliest authors of prose and lyrics
in Finnish language, he is still considered one of the greatest of them all.
Kivi was born at Nurmijärvi in a tailor's family. In 1846 he left for school in Helsinki, and in 1859 he was accepted to the University of Helsinki, where he studied literature and developed an interest in the theater. His first play was Kullervo, based on a tragic tale from Kalevala. From 1863 onwards, Kivi devoted his time to writing. He wrote 12 plays and a collection of poetry. The novel Seven Brothers took him ten years to write. In 1865 Kivi won the State Prize for his still often performed comedy Nummisuutarit (The Cobblers on the Heath). However, the less than enthusiastic reception of his books was taking its toll and he was already drinking heavily. Physical deterioration and the development of schizophrenia set in, and Kivi died in poverty at the age of 38.
The Kalevala is an epic poem which the Finn Elias Lonnrot compiled
and edited on the basis of the epic folk poems he had collected in Finland and
Karelia. It is held to be the national epic of Finland and is traditionally
thought of as one of the most significant works of Finnish language literature.
The Kalevala is credited with some of the inspiration for the national awakening
that ultimately led to Finland's independence from Russia in 1917. The name
can be interpreted as the "lands of Kaleva". The epic consists of
22,795 verses, divided into fifty cantos or "chapters" (Finnish runo).
The first edition of the Kalevala appeared in 1835. This poetic song tradition, sung in an unusual, archaic trochaic tetrametre, had been part of the oral tradition among speakers of Balto-Finnic languages for two thousand years. The Kalevala marked an important turning-point for Finnish-language culture and caused a stir abroad as well. It brought a small, unknown people to the attention of other Europeans, and bolstered the Finns' self-confidence and faith in the possibilities of a Finnish language and culture. The Kalevala began to be called the Finnish national epic. Lonnrot and his colleagues continued their efforts to collect folk poetry, and new material quickly accumulated. Using this new material, Lonnrot published a second, expanded version of the Kalevala in 1849.
(10) Stamps depict count R. H. Rehbinder (1777-1841), count G. M. Armfelt (1757-1814) and count A. Horn (1664-1742)
Baron Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim (1867–1951) was the Commander-in-Chief
of Finland's Defence Forces, Marshal of Finland, an astute politician and a
successful military commander. He was also the sixth President of Finland (1944–1946).
Mannerheim was born on June 4, near Turku of a prominent family. He received his early military training in imperial Russia. He explored Central Africa, served in the Russo-Japanese War, and was commander of Russia's VI Cavalry Corps on the Romanian front in World War I.
With Russia's collapse he returned to a Finland in turmoil. When Finland gained independence and civil war started members of the government, the Whites, offered Mannerheim command of their army. Mannerheim's first task was to disarm the more than 40,000 Russian soldiers still on Finnish soil to prevent them from joining the rebel forces, who already outnumbered his own. When his initial objective was achieved, he trained his forces and struck against the overmanned and underofficered Red strongholds at Helsinki, Viipuri, and Tampere. In the interim he tried without success to prevent the Germans from entering the struggle as allies. With unneeded German aid the Reds were defeated. On May 16, 1918, he resigned as commander in chief because of the pro-German policy of the government, and on December 12 he became chief executive of Finland. On the first election under the new constitution, however, he was defeated by Professor Stahlberg and left office in July 1919.
Mannerheim realized that Finland had to live amicably with the Soviets, but he also knew that the Russians understood strength. Consequently, as defense minister (from 1931), he built a series of fortifications known as the Mannerheim Line, which stood Finland in good stead in November 1941, when the Soviet Union, after gobbling up part of Poland and the Baltic Provinces, invaded Finland. At the age of 72 Mannerheim was called back as commander in chief and successfully guided Finnish defenses during the Winter War, which ended in March 1940. The relatively favorable peace settlement was violated by the Soviet Union in June 1941, and Mannerheim remained as commander in chief until peace was negotiated in August 1944. In the Continuation War, Mannerheim kept relations with Nazi Germany's government as formal as possible and successfully opposed their proposals for a treaty of alliance. Mannerheim also firmly refused to let his troops contribute to the Siege of Leningrad. In June 1942 he was named the only marshal in Finnish history and became president of the republic in 1944. He soon retired because of ill health and died in Lausanne, Switzerland, on January 27. He was buried on February 4, 1951 in the Hietaniemi cemetery in Helsinki in a state funeral with full military honours, and today retains respect as one of Finland's greatest statesmen. Mannerheim's birthday, the fourth of June, is celebrated as the Flag Day of the Finnish Defence Forces.
(12) Stamps depict Finnish war heroes E. H. af Kankais (1585-1615), T. T. Stalhandske (1594-1644) and J. P. de la Gardie (1583-1652).
(13) Stamps depict scientist M. Calonius (1737-1817), historian H. G. Porthan (1739-1804) and scientist A. Chydenius (1729-1803).