First minutes of the Helsinki Workers’ Association

It appears from the first article of the minutes that already on the 3rd of March people had gathered in order to pursue the case on the initiative of manufacturer V. J. von Wright. Then the case was to found a craftsmen’s association but the 3rd of May meeting in 1883 is already called a meeting of workers’ association. At this phase the idea was cooperation between employers and employees and the raising of the educational level of workers. The objective of employers was to prevent the spreading of socialism to Finland.

A bird nesting box, 1993

The Finnish economy had a severe setback in the beginning of the 1990's. The construction workers were the first to suffer the consequencies of the recession. When the building sites for the people ceased to be, they put up a campaign 'Let's build houses, at least for the birds'.

A sword of many tales

A sword of many tales. During the Civil War this sword was discovered in the Finnish government building. It had probably belonged to a member of the 'Sabre Senate' - the government of Russian officers, who ruled Finland during the First World War. Artturi Hellman, who found the sword, played an important role in the People's delegations (the red government), and when the People's delegation had to flee from Helsinki because of the advancing German troops (who were supporting white forces to capture Southern Finland), he took the sword with him to Viipuri. At Viipuri he managed to

Declaration to the Finnish people, 1905

'Declaration to the Finnish people', or the 'Red declaration' (named after the red paper it was printed on more than the 'red ideas' within the document) was read aloud from the City hall balcony in Tampere by labour poet Kössi Lindström (later known as Kössi Kaatra) during the General strike of 1905. The paper was both nationalist as well as socialist. The General strike was meant to show the strength of the labour movement and it gained lot of momentum. One of the effects was the Parliamentary reform, which gave the workers - and even the women - the right to vote.

General strike, Tampere 1956

Great demonstration on the Tampere Central Square during the General strike of 1956. The people came to the mass meeting without making use of any means of public transport. After the war prices and costs of living were under very strict governmental supervision. When the ban was lifted, the prices rose very fast but the salaries stayed behind. Finally the Confederation of

Spoon made by political prisoner, 1918

A wooden spoon, made in the Hennala prison camp in 1918. After the Civil war thousands of Finnish men and women were detained in prison camps, while the country suffered from serious food shortage. Conditions were so bad, that many prisoners died of hunger before they could be judged. To suppress the thought of food many prisoners started to make small handicrafts. This spoon is made by Emmanuel Lammi and is dedicated to his daughter Sanni.


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