November, 2023

202329Nov14:3015:30ISGAP Lecture: Finland’s Wartime History14:30 - 15:30

Event Details

When: Wednesday, November 29, 2023 | 14:30 – 15:30

Where: Room 609 and you may also join the event online (Zoom) here

About the Event

Join Dr. Jarosław Suchoples, a distinguished historian and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, for a lecture that delves into a lesser-known aspect of Finnish history. In 1941, Finland became an ally of the Third Reich, despite the fact that Nazi ideology was not widely embraced in the country. The situation of Jews living in Finland differed from that in most other European Axis nations. While anti-Semitism was not entirely absent, Jews in Finland were not personally endangered, and there was no anti-Semitic legislation in place. It’s noteworthy that the number of Jews in Finland, although small (2200), reached its peak during wartime.

Nevertheless, Finnish Jews lived in the shadow of the Holocaust. Starting in 1942, news about the fate of Jews in territories occupied by Germany began reaching Finland via Sweden. Consequently, the Jewish community in Finland was well aware of the destruction of European Jewry. After the war, many Finnish Jews claimed they had no knowledge of what had happened to their brethren in Nazi-occupied territories, raising intriguing questions about this collective amnesia. Documented records reveal that in the summer of 1944, plans were outlined for the potential evacuation of Finnish Jews to Sweden if Germany were to occupy Finland. Leaders of Jewish communities on both sides of the border discussed the terms of such action.

Bio of the Speaker

Jarosław Suchoples received his MA from the University of Gdańsk, Poland, in 1993. He holds a PhD in History from the University of Helsinki (2000). In 2000-2001, he was an Analyst of the Polish Institute of International Affairs in Warsaw, Poland. From 2001 to 2002, he was a Visiting Researcher at the Department of Political Science of the University of California, Berkeley. Between 2003 and 2013, he lectured at the Willy Brandt Centre for German and European Studies in Wrocław, Poland, the Nordeuropa-Institut of Humboldt University in Berlin and Free University Berlin, Germany, and at the universities in Olsztyn and Szczecin in Poland. In 2013-2015, he was an Associate Professor at the Institute of Malaysian and International Affairs (IKMAS) of the National University of Malaysia (UKM). In 2017, he returned to Finland, this time as Ambassador of Poland. From 2019, Dr. Suchoples is a Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Music, Art and Culture Studies of the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. He is involved in a variety of projects on the History and Memory of World War I, World War II and the Cold War.