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Kari Alenius

University of Oulu, E-mail:



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 T‚rgoviļte and the Romanian Association for Baltic and Nordic Studies, August 17-19, 2014. Supported by EEA Grants, contract no 4/22.07.2014.



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 countriesí 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 governmentís stance in particular was hesitant.The explanation for this Finnish restraint lies in Finlandís 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 governmentís 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.




Acest articol analizeaz„ rela?iile interculturale dintre Finlanda ?i Romnia din timpul celui de-Al Doilea Rzboi Mondial. Punctul central Ól reprezint punctele de vedere finlandeze. Scopul analizei este acela de a explica de ce activit„?ile finlandeze din acest areal au fost de un anumit tip. Rela?iile interculturale dintre Finlanda ?i Romnia nu formeaz o arie separat de studiu, ci sunt legate indisolubil de rela?iile reciproce dintre cele dou„ state Ón ansamblul lor.

Materialul de arhiv„ finlandez existent, care abordeaz„ cooperarea cultural„, indic„ foarte clar faptul c„, Ón ceea ce prive?te avansul acestei rela?ii, Romnia a reprezentat partea mai activ pe tot parcursul lor. őn Finlanda, grupul de activi?ti care favorizau Romnia era mai mic ?i mai eterogen, iar atitudinea guvernului era ezitant„. Explica?ia acestei reticen?e o constituie rela?ia special a acestui stat cu Ungaria. Finlandezii au ezitat s implementeze ini?iativele romne?ti din domeniul culturii, temndu-se c ar putea pune Ón pericol rela?ia cu Ungaria.

őn ciuda nehot„r‚rii guvernului finlandez Ón ceea ce prive?te dezvoltarea rela?iilor culturale cu Romnia, au existat aprtori ai unor legturi mai apropiate. O figur„ central„ Ón Ministerul Afacerilor Externe a fost agentul diplomatic Eduard Hjalmar Palin. Un alt actor important a fost, de asemenea, Asocia?ia Finlandezo-Romn, care ?i-a Ónceput activitatea Ón ianuarie 1943 ?i a continuat-o pn„ Ón vara anului 1944.


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


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Call for papers

Seventh annual international conference on Baltic and Nordic Studies in Romania. Good governance in Romania and the Nordic and Baltic countries

Nicolae Iorga Institute of History of the Romanian Academy, Romania
November 24-25, 2016

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